With Guwahati witnessing a rapid increase in coronavirus cases, the Assam government will start house-to-house testing in the state capital from Tuesday, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said.
Guwahati has reported a total of 3,736 COVID-19 cases so far while 3,293 people tested positive in the last 12 days, since June 24. Sarma had on Sunday indicated that community transmission had begun in the city. A two-week lockdown from June 28 to July 12 is underway in Kamrup Metropolitan district which primarily comprises the capital city.
"In a first of its kind initiative on mass testing in Assam, Health Dept shall carry out house-to-house #Covid tests in Ward No 2 (Pandu area) of Guwahati Municipality, starting Tuesday (July 7). We target to complete 3000 tests in the Ward in two days," Sarma tweeted on Monday.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Sarma had said that the situation in Guwahati city was alarming and may worsen if the restrictions imposed are not followed seriously by people. By and large, all the infections reported since June 24 in Guwahati are from the community, the minister had said, indicating community transmission of the viral disease.
"We have formally entered the pandemic stage in Guwahati with these cases. Earlier, most of the cases were those with travel history who were quarantined, so the pandemic was in the states from where they had come, but now it is here," he had said.
The regional business office of State Bank of India and three floors of the bank's northeast head office here have been sealed on Monday after a number of employees tested positive for COVID-19, district administration sources said.
The Assam government has ordered most of the departments to shut their offices inside the secretariat complex in the capital city and asked the employees to work from home, field units and directorates after detecting four COVID-19 cases among the staff on Saturday and Sunday.