Guwahati, June 16 (IANS): With coronavirus infections on the rise, ahead of the formulation of new strategies, the Assam government has decided to launch the Assam Targeted Surveillance Programme (ATSP) on Wednesday to randomly test 50,000 samples in 11 days, according to officials here on Tuesday.
Assam Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Samir Kumar Sinha said the random testing under the ATSP would be conducted in four categories of people.
In his order, which was tagged to the twitter handle of Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Sinha said under the ATSP, random testing of people and workers involved in truck parking, loading and unloading of goods, including railway goods and godowns, would be conducted.
Similar random testing would be conducted on all frontline district officials, including health workers, police personnel, officials of the transport department and the district administration, those associated with Covid-19 management, hotel staff and family members of people released from the institutional quarantine centres.
Earlier, the Health Minister said if a sizable number of positive cases were found after testing 50,000 samples, several stringent measures, including total lockdown, would be re-imposed in Guwahati and other vulnerable places.
"The new strategies are being considered to check the coronavirus spread in Assam," Sarma said.
Assam has tested 2.20 lakh samples and found 4,319 Covid-19 cases. It has now 2,103 active cases. While 2,205 patients have recovered, eight people, including a 16 years-old girl, died.
Assam's neighbour Mizoram, which has inter-state borders with Covid-19-hit Tripura and Manipur, on June 8 re-imposed lockdown for two more weeks to curb the coronavirus spread following return of natives from different parts of the country.
Of the eight northeastern states, only Mizoram was a green state until June 1 as the state, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh, became Covid-19 free after its lone patient recovered on May 9.
However, with the return of thousands of natives from southern and western states, Mizoram's Covid-19 cases climbed to 121 in two weeks. All the 120 new cases (after one recovered) are active.