Guwahati, Apr 22 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday urged all political parties in the state to put up a united fight to deal with the prevailing situation due to the pandemic and engage its members to create awareness about COVID-19.
He called an all-party meeting during the day to discuss the COVID-19 situation and urged their representatives to engage their functionaries to generate awareness about COVID-19 and government guidelines at the grassroot level, apart from promoting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour among people to overcome the pandemic.
Sonowal said that the government has adopted five-fold strategy to combat the pandemic - that is testing, tracing, treatment, COVID-19 appropriate behavior and vaccination.
He said that top priority has been given to protect the lives of people from coronavirus and accordingly appropriate guidelines have been formulated.
Sonowal pointed out that success in the fight against COVID-19 depend on people adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government and urged political parties to join hands with the government to sensitise people in this regard.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the key to the success in this fight was maintaining COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, creating awareness and dealing with it unitedly.
The second wave of the virus was more lethal and without synchronized efforts it would be very challenging to tackle the situation, he said.
At present sufficient facilities are available to treat patients but with the rise in positive cases, the situation will become difficult. So the emphasis is on augmenting health facilities including increasing ICU beds and the supply of oxygen, Sarma said.
Free vaccination of people above 45 years are being regularly provided in the state and for those in the age group of 18-45 years it will be taken up from the first week of May, he said.
The order for supply of one crore vaccines has been placed with Bharat Biotech and funds collected for Assam Arogya Nidhi would be utilized for its procurement, Sarma said.
He said that discussion would be held with Serum Institute on Thursday for placing the order for vaccines and urged people to remain cautious to keep themselves safe from the contagion.
BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Congress president Ripun Bora, AGP president Atul Bora, AJP general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan, representatives of CPI(ML), CPI(M), UPPL, Raijor Dal, NPP, National Republican Congress participated in the meeting and also shared their views.
Thanking Sonowal for his initiative and assuring all cooperation, they urged for speedy vaccination and COVID-19 tests for all officials and representatives of political parties to be engaged in the counting of votes on May 2.
They also urged for measures to protect the interests of the lower middle class and daily labourers affected by the pandemic, monitoring of private health institutions, offering of COVID-19 treatment and availability of adequate health facilities.
Chief secretary Jishnu Baruah, principal secretary of health Samir Sinha and CEO of Assam State Disaster Management Authority G D Tripathi also attended the meeting and highlighted the various steps taken by the state government to combat the pandemic. PTI DG KK KK KK