Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said the source of infection of the COVID-19 positive patient in Guwahati is yet to be found and it is a matter of concern.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Sarma said the residents of the state capital are curious to know about the people connected with the patient who lives in a high-end apartment here.
"We could identify 112 persons coming in contact with him. Out of that, samples of 98 people have been collected and 14 are remaining. So far, results of 85 have come with negative and 13 are awaiting.
"If all the results come negative, then there will be a big question that where he has got the infection from. He came to Guwahati from Delhi on March 1, so it cannot be from there. Then he had a short trip to Shillong," Mr Sarma said.
The businessman's family and the entire apartment complex is under quarantine with nobody allowed to enter or exit, he informed.
The patient, who also suffers from asthma, is being treated at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
Talking about the protective gears, Mr Sarma said, "We currently have 3,941 PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, 36,487 N95 masks and 7,28,022 triple-layer masks. By the end of the day, we will get 5,000 more PPE kits."
The Centre has allowed Assam to make triple-layer masks locally and the work has already started, he added.
"On Sunday, we released Rs 2.15 crore to different COVID-19 hospitals and Rs 50 lakh will be released soon for the quarantine centres. There is no dearth of money as of now and we are at a comfortable position. Also, Rs 19.3 crore have come to Asom Arogya Nidhi. It will be used to set up the five temporary hospitals," he said.
Mr Sarma, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the government staff will get their March salaries from April 8 onwards and requested them to help at least five poor families in their neighbourhood so that nobody is in distress in this hour of crisis.
Seeking service of medical experts, the minister said, "Today morning, Mumbai's Wockhardt hospital was sealed because many of the staff tested positive. If such a case happens here, we will need additional manpower."
"So we will launch a website from today. Doctors, nurses and paramedics from outside Assam or within the state willing to serve voluntarily can apply after their required quarantine."
Along with Wockhardt Hospital, Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai have also been sealed after some of their medical staff, including doctors and nurses, tested positive for COVID-19.
"The insurance scheme for COVID-19 frontline people has been expanded to medical staff in Assam's private hospitals, who have joined hands with the government to take all the non-coronavirus patients," Mr Sarma announced.
So far, 75,981 people have been quarantined in Assam and the first batch will finish their restrictions on April 9, he added.
Asked about the lockdown, Mr Sarma said, "We do not want the lockdown to be lifted instantly. We want a scientific and systematic withdrawal of the lockdown. The minute details will be informed to the government of India."