R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Feb 22: COVID-19 positivity rate in Assam has come down drastically but the Government has not lowered its guard. Meanwhile, the vaccination programme is also going on in full swing and majority of the vaccinated people have not shown any major adverse effect so far.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Principal of the Guwahati Medical College, Dr Achyut Baishya said that the positivity rate of COVID-19 in the State is now below 0.20 per cent, which proved that the disease is under control. He pointed out that when the outbreak of the disease was at its peak, the positivity rate was around nine per cent.
Dr Baishya said that 1,200-1,400 patients from different parts of the State are tested every day at the GMC hospital and rarely one or two patients test positive.
“Most of the patients come to the hospital from different parts of the State using public transport and the low positivity rate proves that the disease is under control,” he pointed out. However, at the same time, he said that for their own safety, people should follow the COVID protocols like wearing masks in public places, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing. He also pointed out that even after the elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and other festivals, the State did not witness any spurt of new cases, which is a positive sign.
The COVID care centers have already been closed down and COVID patients are also not kept in GMC or MMC hospitals. At present, in Guwahati, COVID patients are kept only in the 150 bed special COVID hospital in Kalapahar and only ten patients are admitted there. However, one pregnant lady had to be shifted from that hospital to GMC today as she will have to undergo a caesarian operation. Four rooms of the new paying ward of the hospital have been blocked for keeping the patient.
July, August and September were the worst months for Assam. In July, 38,000 cases were reported, while, the number was 68,000 in August and 71,771 in September. But the situation started improving from October and in January the figure was less than a thousand, while, it came down further this month.
Dr Baishya said that though some states of the country faced a second wave, Assam did not face it because of active screening and isolation of patients. He, however, said that the Government is closely monitoring the situation in other states of the country.
On the vaccination programme, Dr Baishya said that more than 1.50 lakh people have already been vaccinated in the State. He said that in the GMC itself, 2224 persons received the first dose of the vaccine and 314 received the second dose as of now.“The vaccine is safe. I urge upon the people to take the vaccine when their turn comes. I have taken both the doses of the vaccine and did not feel any adverse impact. In fact, none of the persons who took the vaccine faced any major adverse impact. A few persons had minor fever, which is acceptable,” he added.