GUWAHATI: The central government has asked Assam to be ready for the vaccination against coronavirus from January next year, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday.
“The central government has informed us that frontline workers and people above 60 will be given priority in the vaccination program. We have been asked to be ready from January to July for the vaccination,” Sarma told the media.
The Minister said that the Centre had held several consultations through videoconference with the state governments to undertake vaccination between January and July 2021. He said that the Centre is expecting COVID-19 vaccine from six to seven sources and the vaccination will be carried out with a mix of vaccines instead of a single one. Sharing data, the Minister claimed that flattening of COVID-19 pandemic curve may have started in Assam.
“The positivity rate has sharply come down to 1.4 per cent whereas the recovery rate has increased to 85 percent. The COVID death rate has also dropped to 0.42 percent. Assam has so far tested 40 lakh samples,” he said.
According to the Minister, of the 1,95,304 persons who tested corona positive in Assam, 1,66,036 recovered whereas 826 patients succumbed to the disease. Sarma also announced the standard protocol for the coming 5-day Durga Puja festival, with a ban on large gatherings, processions and assembly of not more than 50 persons in puja pandals and marquees.
No cultural functions would be held and puja pandals will have to be open on all sides with different entry and exit gates. The Durga Puja organizers will have to ensure use of santisers and masks to prevent Covid-19 infections.