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Himanta Biswa Sarma visits Silchar to take stock of preparations; SMCH to be a Covid19 hospital 

Minister of Health, Finance, PwD and education, government of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma visited Silchar Medical College and Hospital to take stock of the preparations to combat Covid 19 in this region. The minister met principal and chief-superintendent of SMCH, Dr. Babul Bezbaruah in the presence of MP Rajdeep Roy, minister of Forest and Environment, Fisheries and Excise, Parimal Suklabaidya, deputy speaker and Sonai MLA, Aminul Haque Laskar, DC Cachar, Barnali Sharma and other senior officials from the ministry and the Medical College.

The minister confirmed that in Cachar there is enough availability of personal protection gears including masks for the medical staff. He said within the next couple of days Dermatology, Psychiatry, Eye and ENT department in SMCH will shift to SM Dev Civil Hospital so that SMCH can be converted to a Covid19 hospital. For the general patients who are admitted in various wards of SMCH, the minister said, “We will move the general patients to private nursing homes after signing an MoU with them.”

In order to remain prepared to deal with a possible Corona Outbreak Sarma said that SMCH will train final year MBBS and final year nursing students so that they are able to treat Covid19 patients, “If a doctor treats patients for seven days he or she will have to take rest for the next14 days,” informed Sarma and thus the region will need more trained professionals to deal with the pandemic.

Sarma reiterated that Silchar Medical College and Hospital is already accredited by ICMR to conduct Covid 19 screening and tests. “Screening and confirmation can be done here locally. So far we have tested 21 samples and we did not find any positive cases. We have a few more samples which are being screened today and I believe if we maintain social distancing we will be safe,” said Sarma.

The Covid19 infection has already crossed the walls of Northeast with one positive case found in Manipur and Mizoram each. “It is a measure of concern that Mizoram and Manipur have positive cases,” said Sarma. Both Manipur and Mizoram share interstate borders with Barak Valley. “But both the individuals who have been tested positive has a history of foreign travel. There is no news of transmission thereafter. All who are likely to have come in contact with those two individuals have been put under home quarantined,” said Sarma.

The minister made it clear that under no circumstances, social gatherings will be tolerated in any parts of the State. “Thousand of people gathered in Silchar at the wholesale market today, this won’t be tolerated again. Grocery shops will remain open in all localities and people must buy essential items from their locality. Hawkers will travel with fish, vegetables and other food items in each and every lane, consumers can buy from the hawkers,” asserted Sarma.

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