Monday, 30th October 2017

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Assam business hub still shut as cases rise

Two more test Covid positive in Guwahati

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 17.05.20, 1:20 AM
  • Updated 17.05.20, 2:18 PM
  • 2 mins read
A resident plays a mouth organ from a window in his house at Fancy Bazar, a Covid-19 containment zone, in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos

Assam’s business hub, Fancy Bazar, continued to add to its Covid count and growing concern with two more persons in the city testing positive on Saturday, taking Assam’s total count to 91.

Both the fresh cases are direct contacts of the first Fancy Bazar patient, a migrant worker.

With these two, at least 18 cases in the city have been found to have a connection with the busy market area. The business hub is a containment zone now.

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the infected duo hail from the city’s Kumarpara area, which is already a containment zone.

Sarma said, “Two more persons, related to the Aloo patty case, tested positive for Covid-19 in Guwahati. Both the patients were asymptomatic and were found through contact tracing. There is no need to panic.”

The two were traced as direct contacts of the potato godown worker of Fancy Bazar and their swab samples were collected earlier.

The detections have triggered fear, leading to a total shutdown of the market for the third consecutive day. Though the Kamrup Chamber of Commerce’s appeal to keep business closed in the area for three days ended on Saturday, traders were not sure about their future course because of the rising Covid cases originating from the area.

The state health department is yet to trace the source of infection of the first Fancy Bazar patient. Initially, it was suspected that he was infected with the virus after possibly coming in contact with an “infected” truck driver. “He had also visited a godown at Changsari in Kamrup district for work in April. Therefore, his statements are being verified now. If we find him misleading the investigation, he might be slapped with charges as per law,” Sarma said.

The state government has asked the state’s telecom operators to give a detailed report, citing all the contact numbers of people who had visited Fancy Bazar last week.

Fearing possible infection among people from the Muslim community who have been thronging the markets ahead of Id, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal asked people from the community in the state to stay indoors.

“It’s sad to see that a large numbers of Muslims, especially women, are thronging the markets to buy goodies for Id in several areas of the state. First, it’s highly risky. Secondly, there is no point in celebrating Id in grandeur when lakhs of our brothers and sisters are going through tremendous hardships. Stay indoors, maintain social distancing and let this Id bring a solution to the crisis. I urge all to avoid going to the markets in violation of Covid protocols,” Ajmal said.

Assam has so far registered 91 cases. Of these, 46 are active cases while 41 have been discharged, two have migrated to other states and two have died.

On Saturday, after a patient complained of hospital facilities, Sarma tweeted: “Unfortunate that a medical issue at GMCH, and Herculean efforts of doctors are being trivialized. Doctors have done their best to help the said patient. Request everyone to respect our doctors who're putting their lives in line of duty. Let’s respect & cooperate, not bicker!”