Assam is going through a twin challenge - a surge in the COVID-19 positive cases, and the first wave of floods caused due to incessant rains.
Close to two lakh people have been affected in 229 villages in seven districts of Assam due to the floods. with the worst hit district being Goalpara, where 1.70 lakh people have been impacted; nine thousand of these have been shifted to relief camps.
River Brahmaputra continues to flow above the danger level at Nimatighat in Jorhat district and Jia Bharali at Sonitpur. While 1,007 hectares of crop land is under flood waters, rural infrastructure like roads, culverts and embankments have been damaged too, reports say.
In Assam's worst flood-hit district Goalpara, 140 villages have been affected - 103 in Lakhipur revenue circle and 37 in Balijana revenue circle.
The state government has designated 35 relief camps to give shelter to those impacted with the floods.
Heavy rains and a thunderstorm damaged a screening and quarantine centre at the Assam-Bengal border this morning. The centre was located at Chagolia in Dhubri district of Assam bordering Cooch Behar district of West Bengal.
At least 10 people in the quarantine centre sustained injuries and were hospitalised. All of them have now been discharged and shifted to another quarantine centre.
With the India Meteorological Department's advisory of heavy rains with storm and thunder showers in Assam and other parts of northeast, the situation might get even worse.
The Assam Cabinet-led by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal met today and took some key decisions in view of the double challenge in front of the state.
To tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the state government has said that quarantine policy will be strictly adhered to. For returnees from other states, an institutional quarantine of at least seven days is a must, which will then be followed by a seven-day home quarantine, said.
For the flood situation, all districts have been asked to keep the flood relief camps and materials ready. The district authorities have also been asked to adhere to COVID norms inside the relief camps as well.
The state government has also asked for the repair of all damaged river embankments on war footing.
The state cabinet has also decided that since each minister has been entrusted with specific districts and regions to oversee preparations to tackle the COVID-19 menace, starting tomorrow, they will also oversee preparations for the first wave of floods in the assigned districts and regions.
Assam has reported 597 coronavirus positive cases so far. Of these, 528 are active cases while 62 of them have recovered. The state has reported four deaths.