While India is in denial that community transmission hasn’t reached the country, the Assam government has accepted the beginning of community transmission in the state’s biggest city, Guwahati and the rest of Kamrup Metro district.
With fear of community transmission in #Guwahati, Assam State Government has decided to enforce a 14-day total lockdown in the city and in all areas under Kamrup (Metro) district from June 28.— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) June 27, 2020
The development came a day after Kamrup Metro reported 777 Covid-19 positive cases, the single biggest spike in a day, taking the district’s tally to 2,741 cases for 10 days between June 24 and July 4. That is nearly one-fourth of the total 11,001 cases in the state.
Guwahati once again going under complete lockdown for 14 days due to the rising number of community transmission cases. A great and bold decision taken by Assam Government for the safety of our fellow citizens.#GuwahatiLockdown #HimantaBiswaSarma #Assamcares https://t.co/8iVZFEKC8o— Keshav Agarwal (@KeshavA46585322) June 26, 2020
State health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing a press conference on Sunday said:
In the last 10 days we have recorded 2,741 positive cases in Guwahati and the rest of Kamrup Metro. Almost all of these cases are from community transmission.
He also said that it’s high time that we stop blaming Karnataka, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu or Delhi for Covid-19 spread in our state. It is believed that the state gets the Covid-19 cases through returnees who came back during May and June via these states.
Considering a surge in cases without any travel or contact history, the Assam government had imposed a 14-day total lockdown in Kamrup Metro from June 28, allowing only pharmacies to operate.
But since the number of cases did not come down in the first 7 days, it is likely that the lockdown in the state might get extended after the 14-day period on July 12 depending on the current situation.
The surging number of Covid in the state is also creating new challenges for the government and the healthcare system.
Till now, the Covid-19 patients were kept in government hospitals, but the surge in the number of cases has forced the government to consider keeping some in private hospitals and there is a possibility that the government might need to overtake more private hospitals.
This isn’t the first time that a minister is talking about the onset of community transmission. On June 27th, even Goa Chief Minister said that community transmission of coronavirus has begun as Covid-19 cases were reported from all across the state. However, he later retracted his statement saying:
I might have said in the past that it's a community transmission in Goa. But I enquired and was told that it was not so. The virus is not in the air.
Earlier Delhi health minister Satyender Jain has admitted that there was transmission in the community in the capital. But he said it was up to the federal government to declare it as community transmission.
Earlier, even Karnataka minister JC Madhuswamy has admitted to having community transmission of coronavirus in the state. Mashuswamy, the Tumakuru district in-charge minister said that the state machinery is 'worried about coronavirus spreading at community level'.