After spike in COVID-19 cases in green zones; Assam asks Centre not to classify districts into zones

After spike in COVID-19 cases in green zones; Assam asks Centre not to classify districts into zones
Assam Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma. (File Photo)

GUWAHATI | MAY 15, 2020:

In the last couple of days, green zone in Assam has been reporting COVID-19 cases including Guwahati where 28 positive cases and death were reported after the center notified the area as a green zone, the government of Assam has written to the central government preferring using containment and buffer zones for the area where a positive case has been found and its surrounding areas.

In a press release, Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said that the state government has written to the central government requesting permission not to follow the zonal demarcations as given by the Centre.

He said that the Assam government has officially given its view to Delhi that the state doesn't want to follow this concept of zones as these are misnomers. "Suppose, if positive cases are detected in Fancy Bazaar, how are people in Noonmati (both areas located in Guwahati but at a distance of 9 km) affected by it?", Sarma said.

Assam should be allowed to follow the policy of containment and buffer zones because the classification of zones becomes subject to speculation and it concerns livelihoods of people, he said.

Presently, three of the 33 districts in Assam are in the orange zone. The situation in all these three districts – Dhubri, Goalpara, and Marigaon – has been improving, government sources added.

Instead of blanket zoning of districts the state government will be allocating containment and buffer zones to specific areas as required. This suggestion should consider the livelihood issue of the people of the state.

Meanwhile, Assam has no area in the red zone. The state has reported 86 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 39 patients have been treated and discharged. Guwahati has seen 22 cases in the last 24 hours, of which 15 are contacts of an earlier positive case.

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