Guwahati (Assam) , Sept 13 : Assam Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said the state does not have any data on “post-COVID deaths” and corona virus patients dying with commodities.
Addressing a press conference here, Sarma said all the data related to COVID-19 will have to be “refined” after the pandemic is over.
“The post-COVID deaths are more (than the official figure of COVID-19 fatalities). I do not know that because some people died at home and some at private hospitals after they recovered from COVID-19 and were discharged,” he said.
The state government does not have the data of post- COVID deaths and a survey will have to be conducted to find that out, he said.
“After this entire pandemic is over, we will have a data refining (exercise). At present, we are going ahead as per ICMR guidelines,” the minister said.
Assam reported 23 more COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the highest singe-day spike so far, pushing the death toll to 453, while 2,132 new cases raised the tally to 1,40,471.
On August 14, Sarma had said at an official function that 300-350 more COVID-19 patients have died, but the state government’s Death Audit Board did not include them in the coronavirus toll figure as they had other ailments, too.
He said ICMR is adhering to the WHO guidelines in reporting coronavirus figures, and Assam is following the instructions of the national medical research body.
Sarma said the death rate has increased to 0.31 per cent in the state from 0.24 per cent due to a rise in the number of fatalities in the last few days.
He also expressed anguish over an increase in Assam’s caseload because of a gradual withdrawal from following COVID-19 precautions like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
“In August, we saw 68,000 cases, while we have already reported around 30,000 cases in September. If it continues to rise at this rate, we will have 80,000-90,000 new infections in this month alone. After a section said that the disease is just normal cold and cough, people have stopped taking all precautions,” Sarma said.
The minister said the state has conducted 27 lakh tests, which transforms into 80,000 tests per million. The doubling rate is 30 days and the recovery is estimated at 78.3 per cent.
He said government hospitals have enough ICU beds to cope with the surge for this month and initiatives are being taken to ensure there is no shortage in October. “We are installing oxygen tanks at four hospitals across the state in which liquid oxygen can be stored for at least 15 days.”
Sarma also warned people that if they throng pandals during the upcoming Durga Puja festival, the condition of Assam will drastically worsen in terms of COVID-19 cases.
He expressed displeasure over the permissions given by the Deputy Commissioners of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts for the campaign meetings of the Bodoland Territorial Council elections.
“I have seen pictures where people are not wearing masks and there is no social distancing. I am sorry to say that immature political leadership, whether BJP or Congress,… (is responsible for this),” Sarma said.
Source : PTI