Dispur | Jagran News Desk: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday dismissed reports of imposing a lockdown or night curfew in the state in wake of the alarming rise in coronavirus cases across the country, saying there is no need to panic. He, however, said that the state government needs to "remain alert" and all necessary coronavirus-induced protocols must be followed.

Biswa also said that all passengers coming to Assam from Mumbai and Karnataka via flight will have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test here "even if they have got themselves tested".

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also said that the state government is planning to conduct at least one lakh COVID-19 in Assam so that Bihu could be celebrated as per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines released by the Union Health Ministry.

"We will celebrate Bihu in Assam this year. For this, we will try to do maximum testing and isolate people before Bihu celebration," Biswa was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

India has been hit by the second wave of coronavirus pandemic that has forced several states and union territories (UTs) to impose restrictions, including lockdown and night curfew, again. Though cases are under control in Assam, officials fear that cases could rise suddenly due to the recently concluded assembly elections.

Assam had on Wednesday reported nearly 200 fresh cases, pushing the coronavirus tally in the state to 2.19 lakh. The state health department said that Assam currently has 847 active COVID-19 cases, while 2.15 lakh people have recovered from the disease.

The COVID-19 recovery rate in the state is 98.49 per cent, it said while adding that the death toll in Assam stands at over 1,100.

The state has so far tested 73.32 lakh samples for COVID-19, including 21,162 on Wednesday, the Assam health department said. It further said that a total of 11.30 lakh people have so far received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine across the state, while 2.03 lakh people have got the second dose.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma