- Quarantine facility being built with capacity of 700 people
- People entering Assam undergo home quarantine for 14 days
- Flights, trains except essential supplies stopped across country
The Assam government is building a massive quarantine centre to keep COVID-19 patients, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has tweeted. The move comes after the centre asked the states to keep some hospitals only to quarantine and attend to people infected with coronavirus.
"A large quarantine centre will be established at the Sarusojai Sports Complex, Guwahati with capacity for about 700 people. This morning visited the site to take stock of preparedness and the facility. It shall be ready in a week's time," Mr Sarma tweeted.
#IndiaFightsCorona— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) March 26, 2020
A large quarantine centre will be established at the Sarusojai Sports Complex, Guwahati with capacity for about 700 people. This morning visited the site to take stock of preparedness and the facility. It shall be ready in a week's time. pic.twitter.com/bolVMafOsE
In photos tweeted by Mr Sarma, masked workers are seen tying ropes to wooden beams under a tall U-shape shed that is built like an aircraft hangar.
The government will rent an apartment complex nearby where at least 200 doctors can stay. If more doctors need to be called, the government will give them accommodation.
The country is under a 21-day lockdown to stop the highly infectious Novel Coronavirus from spreading. All flights and trains except cargo services carrying essential supplies have been stopped.
Another 200-bed hospital in Sonapur, 35 km from Guwahati, has been sanitised and converted into a facility for receiving people infected with coronavirus. No positive case has been reported in Assam so far.
"This is 200-bed hospital and we have now designated it exclusively for dedicated treatment of coronavirus positive patients and we feel we are ready with this facility," Kamrup deputy commissioners Biswajit Pegu said.
People entering Assam from other states are being stamped and made to undergo home quarantine for 14 days. Two people in the northeast were the first to be infected with the coronavirus last week - one is a girl from Manipur and the other is a 50-year-old man from Mizoram who had been to the Netherlands.
In Assam, those found on the streets or in any public place before they complete the 14-day home quarantine will be charged, the police have said.
"If L&T comes for construction work of our hospital, we might ask for funds from citizens, and in that case, we will give an account number of Assam Arogya Nidhi on WhatsApp and newspapers... For now we feel there is no need for financial aid, but the need may arise," Mr Sarma told reporters.
"We have 700 MBBS final-year students; they are more or less doctors, and in three-four months they will graduate. We have made a training module to make them familiar with handling coronavirus cases. There are approximately 2,000 nursing final-year students; they will also be trained for the same so that the number of doctors increases," Mr Sarma said.
With Manipur and Mizoram testing positive cases, there is emphasis on Barak Valley, which borders these two states and Tripura. The inter-state borders are easy to cross, so the authorities are looking for ways to restrict movement.
The Assam government plans to set up isolation camps in areas where there are no medical colleges.
"Those spreading fake news will be arrested. Everyone should cooperate in this grave time," Mr Sarma said.