With green zone areas in Assam reporting COVID-19 cases in the last couple of days including Guwahati where 28 positive cases, including a death, had taken place after the centre notified the area as green zone, the Assam government has now informed the centre that it would not like to follow the concept of zones, but would prefer using containment and buffer zones for the area where a positive case has been found and its surrounding areas.
With this, Assam is perhaps the first BJP-led state that has “officially” opposed the centre’s zone classification, government sources have told NDTV.
This was informed in a press conference on Thursday by Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while answering a question by NDTV on the possibilities of escalating Guwahati’s status to either orange or red zone.
“The Assam government has officially given its view to Delhi that we don’t want to follow this concept of zones as these are misnomers. Suppose we get a positive case in Fancy Bazaar, how are people in Noonmati (both areas located in Guwahati but at a distance of 9 km) affected by it? We have recommended that we should be allowed to follow the policy of containment and buffer zones because classification of zones becomes subject to speculation and it concerns livelihoods of people,” Mr Sarma said.
Guwahati, a green zone, now has as many as nine containment zones. In the last two days, Guwahati has reported 22 cases.
At present three of the 33 districts in Assam are in orange zone. The situation in all these three districts – Dhubri, Goalpara and Marigaon – have been improving, government sources added.
“The zone classifications have become subject to speculations. You have to consider the livelihood issues of people. The fight against the coronavirus will be a long drawn one. Now our idea is to strictly maintain containment in the affected areas, but allow activities in the unaffected areas where we will keep a vigil. People will also have to adhere to norms,” the minister added.
Assam has no area in red zone. The state has reported 86 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 40 patients have been treated and discharged. Guwahati has seen 22 cases in the last 24 hours, of which 15 are contacts of an earlier positive case.