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Assam Model: The Silent Fight against Covid-19 Pandemic First Wave

Covid 19 testing
Assam model; an intensive initiative to curb Covid 19 Image source: Internet

It has been more than a year since the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic hit us hard crippling the whole world as well as our country, India.
The Centre stage state of North-East India, Assam was also hit hard by this still on-going pandemic.

While the whole country was busy celebrating ‘Odisha Model’, ‘Kerala Model’ in their fight against Covis-19, the North-Eastern state Assam also deserves the same credit.
While having a substantial population of about 3.09 crore, Assam serves as the gateway state to the other six North-Eastern states of India.
Owing to such situation, Assam could have been easily brought to its knees and succumbed to the pandemic. However, owing to the proactive preparedness and rapid response to the situation, the Covid-19 pandemic was brought to control.
Kudos to the Health workers, bureaucrats, and other officers who swung into rapid action with the sole mission to minimize the contingency once the virus reaches Assam.

Even before the pandemic reached the state, Government of Assam (GoA) was all prepared to curb the pandemic to its lowest.
According to plan, GoA planned a detailed roadmap
• Government’s Responses and Steps before pandemic hit Assam:
i. Even before the first Covid-19 positive case was detected, the state government already had three testing centers.
ii. 2000 bed facility situated in two stadiums.

Quarantine center in Sarusajai
Quarantine center in Sarusajai
Image source: Internet

iii. Each districts of Assam had its own designated Covid treatment centers.

Since then, Assam has come a long way curbing the pandemic with its timely management and efficient responses:
• It is to be noted that Assam Government was one of the first state in India to import 50,000 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits from China.

PPE kit supplied to Assam
PPE kits supplied to Assam from China
Image source: Internet

• As of April 16, 2021, a total of 77,13,548 people have been screened across the state.
• Even before the pandemic hit Assam, GoA directed schools to shut down from March 15 and not increase fees during the lockdown.
• For students of class 1 to 12, Government even launched a local educational television program called ‘Gyan Briksha’ to cover up the loss due to lockdown.

During lockdown, the state government also provided financial support to many people and institutions. A few laudable are:
• On April 27 2021, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced a insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakhs to journalists.
• Each folk artists and Lok shilpis of Assam were provided a sum of Rs. 2000 per month for next three months.
• For the returning migrant laborers, the state government issued job cards, provided them with free food ration for three months. Under the MGNREGA scheme, the daily wage was increased from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202.
• The Assam Government further issued five kg rice per month to poor families without ration card which benefitted about 55 lakh house-holds.

As for in the medical field, steps taken by GoA are:
• During the start of the Covid-19 first wave, Assam government deployed 1000 medical teams across the state to screen patients for seasonal fever. This initiative covered more that 25,000 villages.
Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers and Multi Purpose Workers (MPW) were deployed to monitor home quarantine patients.

ASHA worker
ASHA worker working during Covid-19 lockdown Image source: Internet

• Expressing gratitude to doctors and nurses deployed in Covid duty during the lockdown period, GoA arranged the 14-day mandatory quarantine at Taj Vivanta.

The Positive Outcome:
During the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Assam has done exceptionally well.
This was only possible due to the state government’s comprehensive Covid-19 combat strategy which was based on the 4 Ts—
• Trace, Test, Treat, and Transparency.
The rapid capacity building, effective contact tracing, treating the patients with utmost care, effective contact tracing has made ‘Assam Model’ very effective.

Conclusion:
Since November 2020, there has been a decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases.
However, since March, there has been a surge in the number of Covid positive cases all over the country.
It seems inevitable that the whole country is on verge of getting hit by the worst wave of Covid-19.
In the last few days, India has seen an unprecedented surge in the number of Covid-19 cases. On April 16, 2021, the total daily positive cases have reached more than 2.17 lakh.

Also Read: RTI Act- The Decline from ‘Powerful Tool’ to mere ‘Paper Tiger’

What do you think?

Written by Mriganka Pathak

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