The isolation hub, to be ready in a week, is being built at Sarosajai Sports complex.

New Delhi: As the number of Covid-19 cases rises in the country, authorities in states are beginning to take measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. Although Assam is yet to report a positive Covid-19 case, the Assam government is going ahead with establishing a 700-bed quarantine facility at the Sarusajai sport complex to fight the global pandemic.

Taking to twitter, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the isolation facility will be ready within a week. “A large quarantine centre will be established at the Sarosajai Sports complex, Guwahati, with a capacity for about 700 people. This morning visited the site to take stock of preparedness and the facility. It shall be ready in a week’s time,” Sarma tweeted.

The Assam government has also created a new 30-bed state-of-the-art ICU with ventilation at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) and earmarked 150 beds at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) exclusively for Covid-19 patients.

Sarma’s proactive steps and the Assam government’s speedy precautionary measures to combat the virus have been applauded by netizens. Praising Sarma for his efforts, Assam based journalist Nandan Pratim Sharma Bordoloi tweeted, “Heroes are not born, they just emerge…Himanta Biswa Sarma working tirelessly for the people of Assam day and night to prevent coronavirus.”

Sarma’s moves on a war-footing in the state’s fight against the pandemic has also been lauded by Shyamkanu Mahanta, an entrepreneur from Assam. Tweeting on government’s decision to establish a quarantine centre, Mahanta said, “This is an extremely proactive step. Speaks volumes about your (Himanta Biswa Sarma) foresightedness. Assam’s healthcare can be a benchmark for many other states of India in terms of corona preparedness. Hopefully, we don’t leave our guard and keep this on a war-footing in the coming days. Kudos.”

Along with the above measures, IDSP hospital at Guwahati’s Kalapahar, Model Hospital at Singimari, and the Government Ayurvedic College hospital will also be used for coronavirus treatment. The Chabua-based TATA Referral Hospital has also volunteered to run corona specific treatment.

In a facebook post chalking out strategy for private hospitals to fight against coronavirus, Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “I discussed with owners of private hospitals of Guwahati about how they can share the burden along with government hospitals. I suggested that while government hospitals can be restricted for Covid-19 patients, regular patients can be sent to them for which we will reimburse. Hopefully something would work out.”

The Assam government has also ensured that people entering Assam from other states or abroad are being stamped and made to undergo home quarantine. “We are keeping strict vigilance on those who are coming from other states or abroad. Anyone who doesn’t comply to government order will be charged. To ensure this, district administration has issued a WhatsApp number to lodge complain against those violate the government order of 14-day home quarantine,” a district health official told The Sunday Guardian.

Sarma’s popularity as an efficient administrator is not new in Assam. As a health minister in the previous Congress government, Sarma was credited for giving boost to public health in the state which was in a dire condition due to the negligence of earlier governments.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Sarma has been seen touring across the state and inspecting the arrangements done by medical colleges of the state to combat the virus. He has also shared the account number of Assam Arogya Nidhi for those willing to contribute to the state’s efforts to fight Covid-19 and said, “The government of Assam has been taking all steps possible to safeguard the health of people in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. In this hour, every help adds to our strength.”