GUWAHATI, Aug 14 - Some opposition parties, including Congress, are trying to demoralise the doctors and other health workers engaged in the war against COVID-19 for narrow political ends, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at a plasma donation camp held at the initiative of the State BJP at the GMCH today.
Sarma said the mortality rate from COVID-19 in Assam is the lowest in the country and that has been made possible due to the hard work and dedication of the doctors, nurses and other health sector staff, besides on account of plasma donation by cured patients.
He said that in some other states plasma is being sold for money, but in Assam COVID-19 survivors have shown their sense of duty and humanity by voluntarily coming forward to donate plasma.
�Today I am not here as a BJP member. I am here as the Health Minister. And as the Health Minister I want to thank the BJP for coming forward and taking the initiative to hold this event. We had asked all political parties to help us in this battle against COVID-19. If tomorrow the Congress organises a similar event, I will attend that as well. We do not want politics over COVID-19. We just want to save lives. But no other party has come forward to support us. Only the BJP under Ranjeet Kr Dass has taken the initiative,� he said.
Sarma alleged that Congress is seeking to discourage people engaged in the fight against COVID-19. �That is the intention of the Congress. They want to demoralise the doctors and health workers. We request all parties to come forward and help the government in this fight. We all need to cooperate and help each other in this crucial period,� said the Health Minister.
Today�s plasma donation event was organised by the ruling party at the government medical colleges in Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Silchar and Tezpur, besides the GMCH. More than 290 people registered for plasma donation on the occasion.
Sarma said many companies in India are working on developing a vaccine for COVID-19. He said that the phase one trial of COVAXIN, developed by Bharat Biotech, has been successful. �The second phase of the trial will begin soon. And GMCH is likely to be selected as a testing centre by Bharat Biotech and ICMR for the second phase of trial of COVAXIN,� Sarma said.
Sarma cautioned against any sort of complacency with regard to COVID-19.
He said that while a majority of COVID-19 patients may be asymptomatic, the virus causes serious problems for people having co-morbidities.
Sarma said that during the initial period many people assumed that Assam would be safe from COVID-19. �That led to some complacency. Some renowned and noted people, for whatever reason, started saying that COVID-19 is not dangerous. But since mid-July the fatalities started going up,� Sarma said, adding that for senior citizens and people with kidney ailments or cancer and other such co-morbidities, COVID-19 could be dangerous.
He said that the fatality rate from COVID-19 is only 0.24 per cent in Assam. �But just because the number of deaths is low does not mean that COVID-19 is not dangerous,� Sarma said.