UK returnee tests Covid positive in Assam, sample sent to Pune

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (Photo: twitter@himantabiswa)

Guwahati, (Asian independent) In the past two weeks, around 102 people have come to Assam from the United Kingdom and one of them was found Covid-19 positive and his sample has been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune to ascertain whether it is the same new virus strain which hit Europe recently, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.

“Out of the 102 returnees from the UK, 72 were from Kamrup Metro district (under which Assam capital Dispur and Guwahati fall). We sent the sample of one person to the National Institute of Virology in Pune to ascertain the strain of Covid-19,” Sarma told the media.

He said that as a prelude to the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine across the country, the Union Health Ministry has planned to conduct a dry run in select places, including Assam.

“The dry run would be conducted without a vaccine. We are happy that Assam is among the four states in India where the dry run would be carried out. The three other states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab,” he said.

Assam has so far reported 2,15,836 Covid-19 cases with the detection of 61 fresh cases since Thursday night, while 1,033 people have succumbed to the dreaded disease. On Friday night, the number of active cases stood at 3,422, while 2,11,378 people have recovered.

Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua has issued fresh Covid-19 guidelines, restricting large gatherings with maximum participants of 50 during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. The order would remain in force till January 10.