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How Assam is tackling Corona virus outbreak

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Rachit Agrawal
Rachit Agrawal
Rachit Agrawal is a student of law at National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam. He is an avid reader, a news junkie and a Geo-Politics enthusiast. He has published papers at various law journals across the country.

In a recent press meet the Health Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that, “The state has managed to successfully break the chain between society and Coronavirus positive cases as all the positive cases are in quarantine and no new case is coming from society and hence flattened the curve since the first positive case.”

Interestingly Assam did not have a single Corona positive case till March 31. And out of the 35 positive cases which the state has recorded till now there has been one death and 33 cases have been linked directly to Tablighi Jamaat and the rest one is a secondary contact of Nizamuddin Markaz. Presently (Updated on April 23, 2020) there are only 16 active cases as 18 patients have been discharged till now after cure. Therefore, the first wave is under control.

Steps taken by the Assam Government:

The second wave will be challenging as there are many people stranded in different states across the country and countries abroad. Hence the state government is working on a detailed plan to counter this and is working on three fronts: Firstly under the Assam Cares fund the Government is assisting those who are stranded outside the country with an installment of $1000 in their respective accounts by 24th April and another installment of the same amount will be deposited after 24th April. Secondly, financial assistance is being provided to the Cancer patients and patients who have gone outside the state for Kidney, Liver transplant and Heart operation. Till now around 725 patients have been verified and 208 verifications are underway each being provided an assistance of ₹25000. Thirdly, a financial assistance is being provided to marginalized people from different states who are caught up in Assam. Fourthly, the Assamese people who are stranded in different states across the country are being identified and financial assistance is being provided to them directly and around 86,000 of them have received financial assistance of ₹2000 each as on 20th April 2020.

The state has a stock of 1.5 lakh PPE kit and recently 50,000 PPE kit were received from Guangzhou which will be used across the state.

Challenges Ahead:

It is reported that over 350 students from Assam are stuck in Kota, Rajasthan and the state government has to carry out an evacuation of them so that they can be back to their homes as done by the Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh. But Assam doesn’t share a boundary with Rajasthan and buses cannot be arranged. Therefore, the State Government to enquire about the well being held a Video Conferencing and assured the students that the best possible help will be carried out by the Assam Government for them.

Lack of Political Will of Opposition during the outbreak:

It is also thought provoking that All Assam Students Union which is a pan-Assam student political organization and has a good network across the state has not made any attempt to involve in the voluntary activities and mobilize support to help out the people who are in distress due to lockdown. And the top leadership is totally absent which shows their lack of political will. But that did not impact the enthusiasm of health workers and volunteers as the administration, police and the Non-Governmental Organizations are working hand in hand to provide help to those who are in distress.

Therefore, COVID-19 has made a challenging situation before the Assam Government but the State is trying best possible ways to tackle the situation and tackle it. The State Government has also setup. The Assam Arogya Nidhi where it is receiving donations for the relief work carried out across the state and for the people of Assam. Till now 46470 have donated generously into the fund and the amount has reached to ₹100.50 crore of which the Government is keeping a record.

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Rachit Agrawal
Rachit Agrawal
Rachit Agrawal is a student of law at National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam. He is an avid reader, a news junkie and a Geo-Politics enthusiast. He has published papers at various law journals across the country.
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