Guwahati, March 14, 2020:
Fresh on the heels of the widepread protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, now has to contend with the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus (or COVID-19). CM Sarbananda Sonowal has decided not to attend any public meeting till March 31, 2020 as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus situation.
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The Chief Minister has also appealed the people of the State not to panic and urged them to maintain personal hygiene to keep themselves safe from this virus. The Chief Minister has also also appealed the conscious citizens of various societies to come forward and take steps for public awareness.
The Assam CM has also taken to Twitter to alert the people in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. “Do not pay attention to rumours. In case of any doubt or query, please call the Helpline number for #Assam – 6913347770″, he wrote, urging people to call the helpline number that has been initiated across the country to combat the COVID-19 spread.
Take necessary precautions and stay safe from Coronavirus #COVID19.
— Chief Minister Assam (@CMOfficeAssam) March 13, 2020
Assam had its closest brush with the pandemic when an American tourist, who was carrying the virus strand, passed through several Assam towns. He was later detected positive for the virus in neighboring country Bhutan.
The presence of Hewitt, the American tourist, who came with his partner Laura, caused alarm in Assam, and there were extensive screenings in all the places that he passed through — such as the Hotel Radisson Blu in Guwahati and the MV Mahabahu, a cruise ship.
The Bhutan PM’s office intimated that the patient was touring India from February 21 to March 1. He had started his travel from Washington DC on February 18 and was travelling with his partner, aged 59. At the Paro International Airport, the patient’s health declaration form was assessed. He had indicated “negative” against all conditions. However, he was later tested positive, which led Bhutan to go under lockdown.
At the same time, the Assam Tourism board, in compliance with the directives issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health authorities to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, has appealed all the domestic and international tourists travelling to the State to follow the “precautionary health measures” issued in public interest.
“All tourists are requested to avoid crowded places and public gatherings and adopt strategies for social isolation,” stated the advisory issued on Friday.
The Assam Tourism department has additionally assigned five points of contact for the tourists for any assistance – Deputy Director Hriday Ranjan Das, ATIO Gautam Gogoi, TIO Basab Bora, TIO Nilim Baruah and TIO Manas Thakur.
The contact numbers of the above personnel are mentioned below:
Deputy Director, Hriday Ranjan Das – 9435182451
ATIO, Gautam Gogoi – 9435796317
TIO, Basab Bora – 9854211317
TIO, Nilim Baruah – 9854858353
TIO, Manas Thakur – 9854092192
“With regard to domestic tourists coming from areas where prevalence of corona virus is from medium to high rate, they are to take all necessary precautionary measures including clinical screening if needed,” stated the advisory.
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Meanwhile, the virus has claimed as many as 5,436 deaths worldwide, and 67,889 people are currently affected. 6,082 (or 9%) are said to be in serious/critical condition. (Source: https://www.worldometers.info/)
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