No possibility of imposing lockdown or night curfew in Assam: Health minister

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(Eds: Adding inputs) Guwahati, Apr 8 (PTI) Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday ruled out any possibility of imposition of lockdown or night curfew in the state in view of spiralling COVID-19 cases in other parts of the country.

He said the government has planned to ramp up the number of daily sample test to 1 lakh in the next seven days.

'There is no possibility of imposing lockdown or night curfew in Assam. Our strategy is to focus on the three Ts- test, trace and track- to contain the spread of the disease.

'Today 35,000 tests will be done and the number will gradually increase to one lakh per day within a week,' Sarma told reporters.

The state has conducted 73,32,580 sample tests for COVID-19 till Wednesday.

Amid the surge in coronavirus cases across the country, many states have started imposing lockdown and night curfew to curb transmission of the infection.

'We have seen the second wave of the infection after a year and need to take the precaution. Testing for COVID-19 will be intensified from today so that we can celebrate Bihu (from mid-April) safely,' he said.

A Standard Operating Procedure will be issued for the celebration of Rongali Bihu festival, Sarma said.

'All passengers travelling from Karnataka and Maharashtra will mandatorily undergo tests for COVID-19 on their arrival in Assam, even though they may have undergone such a test in the two states,' he said.

The minister urged people to follow the health safety protocols and get themselves tested if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

He also appealed to people above 45 years of age to join the inoculation drive.

Assam reported 195 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing the coronavirus tally in the state to 2,19,027.

According to a bulletin issued by National Health Mission (NHM) on April 7, the northeastern state has 847 active cases, while 2,15,722 people have recovered from the disease.

The COVID-19 death toll in the state stood at 1,111.