Assam mock drill

Guwahati, April 11: The state of Assam in northeast India conducted a Covid-19 mock drill in over 1,300 health facilities, including government and private hospitals, to assess preparedness to tackle the pandemic.

The drill was held on Monday and covered 25 district hospitals, 11 government medical college hospitals, 223 community health centres and sub-divisional hospitals, as well as numerous primary health centres. The state has been relatively free from the latest surge in Covid-19 cases reported from several other states. Health department officials, however, said that the absence of testing could be a reason for the low detection rate.

Not even a single Covid-19 test was conducted in the state on Sunday, and the 24 tests conducted on April 7 were the last single-day highest testing.

According to the Union health ministry data, Assam has only two active Covid-19 cases as of Monday, while the total active cases in all seven northeastern states stand at 18.

The Assam state health department is confident that the hospital beds are ready to admit Covid-19 patients, and there is adequate oxygen supply to the hospitals, including the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH).

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GMCH principal Achyut Baishya said that the Covid-19 ward is ready in the state’s biggest hospital, though no Covid-19-infected patients are admitted to the hospital as of Monday. Meanwhile, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya has already advised states to be on alert and be prepared for Covid-19 management, and he urged everyone to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.

India is currently facing a second wave of Covid-19, with Maharashtra being the hardest-hit state, accounting for 60% of the country’s total active cases.

The Union health ministry on Tuesday reported a total of 96,982 new Covid-19 cases and 446 related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s total active cases to over 738,000, and the death toll to over 166,000.

The situation is concerning as many hospitals in the affected states have reported shortages of beds, oxygen supply, and other medical equipment, leading to some states imposing stricter restrictions on gatherings and the movement of people.