Assam Chief Minister Dr. Sarma Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday night visited BJP National President JP Nadda in the national capital to brief the latter on developmental initiatives undertaken by the state especially to tackle Covid-19. Reportedly, Dr. Sarma is scheduled to stay in New Delhi till June 3. "This evening called on BJP national president JP Nadda and appraised him on how the Assam government is firmly pursuing the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. …Updated Sri Nadda ji on work being done by BJP in Assam and sought his guidance on the way forward," tweeted Sarma after the meeting on Sunday. As per reports, Dr. Sarma is most likely to meet Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union home minister Amit Shah and update on all the measures Assam government has been taking to fight Covid pandemic. This is Dr. Sarma is in Delhi for the first time since his appointment as the Chief Minister.
A fire broke out in Guwahati's Pandu area during the wee hours of Monday causing severe damages. As many as three houses were gutted in the fire caused by two cylinder explosion at Joymoti Nagar. The tragic incident occurred at around 2 am. Nearby residents called for fire brigade and police officials. As per initial reports, atleast 10 lakh worth damages have been reported. The neighbourhood youth rescued the families and tried recovering essential properties and documents. Thereafter, six teams of fire tenders rushed to the site of incident to douse the flames. A team of police officials are present to investigate the matter. No casualties have been registered.
In a bid to help Guwahati residents, the Lions Club of Gauhati added two more Covid auto ambulances with an oxygen cylinder to serve any patient infected with the deadly contagion. The initiative, a free service was launched by the 52 year old club on May 12. According to the club members atleast 70 patients in the city has availed the auto service. "This initiative was launched on May 12 and over 70 patients have so far availed the service. The ambulance is equipped with oxygen cylinder," club member Manoj Bhajanka told ANI. He further elaborated on the service of these auto ambulances and said, "Many times COVID patients do not get oxygen at the right time when their oxygen levels are low, which leads to severe problems and even deaths. These auto-ambulances are equipped with oxygen cylinder, masks and sanitisers. The drivers of the auto-ambulance are equipped with safety measures like PPE kit, mask, face shield, gloves etc."
Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu on Monday said that HSLC and HS examinations under SEBA and AHSEC will be conducted as soon as the Covid situation across the state gets better. The minister asserted that the call for scheduling the examinations will be taken once there is a sharp decline in the Covid cases of the state and under no circumstances will Class 10 and 12 exams be scrapped. In this regard, Mr. Pegu also said that he is hopeful by June 15 the Covid situation will be stabilized. Further, the education minister said that students will be informed about the date sheet at least 15 days prior to the examination. In addition, Mr. Pegu also said that the examinations will be conducted in an offline mode. He said that the question paper's format may change but the exams will not be conducted in an online mode. The minister also said that admission to Standard 11 for CBSE passed out students has been restricted as State Education Board of Assam and Assam Higher Secondary Educational Council is yet to conduct the examinations.
Assam Panchayat & Rural Development Minister Ranjit Kumar Dass on Monday said that there are 304 villages that are completely Covid free in the state and in an attempt to keep a check the spread of the virus, war rooms, and task-forces have been set up in all rural areas. The minister reflected that the prevailing Covid situation in the rural areas is worsening, however, he also noted that preventive measures are undertaken to tackle the deadly contagion. With a motto of "Amar gaon, aami jujim, aami jikim" (Our village, We Will Fight and We Will Win), the PNRD minister said all MLAs and MPs have come together to keep villages Covid free in their respective districts. Further, preparations are underway to make Swahid Kushal Konwar Sarbajanin Bridha Pension Achoni Scheme operational, he said. The pension will be accounted on 10th of every month, he added. The minister also said that a total of 3,287 youth are yet to be appointed in the PNRD ministry.
Over a few weeks, Assam has reported several cases of Drugs Racket in different areas of the state. But with the continuous efforts and search operations of Assam Police, these illegal underground businesses have come to light, resulting in the seizure of huge quantities of drugs and apprehension of many drug peddlers. Today, three similar cases of drug peddling have been busted by Assam Police through their immediate search operations. On a case at Jursimuli of Chaigaon, three containers of drugs have been seized by the police team from a pharmacy today. A man named Rafikul Islam has been apprehended in connection with the drug peddling in this case. On another reported case, police have seized huge amounts of brown sugar and arrested a drug peddler. The search operation took place at Jamuguri village under Juriya Police Station. The one apprehended in this case is Habibur Rahman. The third case reported is at Doulatpur of Lakhimpur district where the seizure of 15 containers of drugs including two grams of heroin and two motor vehicles, an i10 car and a motorcycle has come into light under search operations of Assam Police. A total of four drug peddlers have been apprehended in this case. They are Amir Ali, Ainul Hoque, Sulaiman Rahman and Nurruddin Ali.
Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V Sadananda Gowda announced that additional 30100 vials of Amphotericin-B have been allocated to all the States/UTs and Central Institutions on Monday, of which 50 vials will be distributed to Assam. On May 21, the health department of Assam had issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) after detection of this case of mucormycosis in a private hospital at Guwahati. On May 19, Assam lost its first patient to black fungus. On May 27, Gowda announced that the additional 80,000 vials of Amphotericin-B have been allocated to all the States/UTs and Central Institutions, while on May 26, 29,250 vials of Amphotericin- B drug were allocated to all the states. Meanwhile, the 43rd GST Council announced on Saturday that it has decided to exempt the import of Covid related medical goods including Amphotericin B injection for free distribution. This exemption shall be valid up to 31st August 2021.
Dhubri Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Jatin Chandra Das, was on Monday arrested for his alleged nexus with smugglers in the district. According to an official statement, the arrest was made based on credible information received by Dhubri police. Sources say Das collected Rs 50,000 from cattle-laden truck at the Sagolia border outpost. Along with the DSP, a smuggler associated with the former was also arrested. He was identified as one Rafikul Paramanik alias Opi. Additionally, unaccounted cash of Rs 4 Lakh 77 thousand was also recovered during a series of raids conducted by Dhubri police on Sunday night. A case has been registered against Das under Section 7a/12 of Prevention of Corruption Act.
In a major haul, Kokrajhar police recovered a huge consignment of ganja during a routine frisking of vehicles at Srirampur area. The consignment of ganja weighed a whooping 572.80 kgs and is worth Rs 1 crore. As per a report, the consignment was recovered from a hidden compartment inside a truck which was intercepted during a routine check. Meanwhile, the driver of the truck and another occupant was arrested in connection to the seizure. "A truck was intercepted at Srirampur & 51 Pkts of Ganja, weighing 572.800 kgs worth 1 Cr recovered & two arrested. The secret compartment in driver's cabin couldn't save the carriers," the Kokrajhar Police said.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Monday about the vaccine-procurement policy by referring to the fact that states are in the process of issuing global tenders to procure jabs for coronavirus. A bench, headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud and also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and L Nageswara Rao, was hearing a suo motu case related to supply of essential medicines, vaccines and medical oxygen to coronavirus patients. "Several states are issuing global tenders to procure foreign vaccines for COVID-19 and is this policy of the central government?" the bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as reported by PTI. The Centre said the entire eligible population would be vaccinated by the end of 2021, the report said. The government is in talks with companies like Pfizer and if it succeeds, then the timeline for completing the vaccination would change, the law officer said. Earlier, the top court had constituted a 12-member National Task Force to formulate a methodology for the scientific allocation of oxygen to the states and Union territories for saving lives of COVID patients and to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic.
India has registered the lowest daily new coronavirus infections in 50 days with 1,52,734 cases, taking the tally to 2,80,47,534 on Monday. The active caseload declined to 20,26,092, the Health Ministry said. The death toll climbed to 3,29,100 with 3,128 more fatalities, according to the ministry data. The daily test positivity rate was recorded at 9.07 per cent, less than 10 per cent for the seventh consecutive day. The weekly positivity rate has declined to 9.04 per cent, the ministry said. As many as 16,83,135 samples were tested on Sunday, taking the total tests to 34,48,66,883, it said.
The Assam government issued new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)s to conduct COVID-19 tests in villages. In a fresh notification issued by the government, it said that door to door tests will be conducted in villages from June 1. The health workers will visit the houses in villages to conduct the tests. The village collective monitoring programme under the banner 'Nischoiyota' will be conducted to monitor the COVID-19 situation. A total of 28 thousand health workers will conduct the tests in 33 districts. The health workers will also advice the COVID-19 infected people and their family members as to what steps should be taken in order to remain free from the disease. The teams of health workers will also include local Asha workers to assist the programme. Meanwhile, the Assam Panchayat & Rural DevelopmentMinister Ranjit Kumar Dass on Monday said that there are 304 panchayats that are completely Covid free in the state and in an attempt to keep a check the spread of the virus, war rooms, and task-forces have been set up in all rural areas.
Meghalaya police confirmed that four out of five miners, who were trapped in coal mine in East Jaintia Hills, were from Assam. As per sources, the other miner was from Tripura. State police also informed that there were actually five people trapped inside the mine. Earlier it was speculated that there were six of them. The incident took place on Sunday at around 5 PM when a dynamite suddenly exploded and a sudden rush of water flowed into the mine, trapping all five miners. The mining site has been identified at Sutnga interior under East Jaintia Hills district. The identities of the miners have also been ascertained by East Jaintia police. They are – Abdul Karim from Boko, Abdul Kalam from Barpeta, Shyamcharan Debbarma from Tripura, and two others from Silchar. The main culprit has been identified as the sorder of the area identified as Nizam Ali. He even threatened the survivors with dire consequences and chased them away from mining site. Meanwhile, the police have arrested the coal mine owner's brother and conducted a Rapid Antigen Test where he was found to be positive for COVID 19 and therefore, he is kept in an isolation Centre.
A deadly plane crash occurred in the US city of Nashville killing seven passengers who were onboard the ill-fated flight. As per reports, the plane crashed in a lake near the city. Notably, Tarzan actor Joe Lara and his diet guru wife were among the seven passengers aboard the plane when it went down into Percy Priest Lake, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of Nashville. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed seven people had been aboard the plane, CNN reported. According to a statement issued by the Rutherford County Government, the victims are identified as — William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah. The rescue operations quickly switched to recovery efforts after reports of "several components of the aircraft as well as human remains" being found in a debris field surfaced, Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) commander Joshua Sanders said.
The state of Assam on Monday registered 4,348 new cases of COVID-19, taking the active caseload in the state to 51,694. Today's positivity rate is 3.90 per cent. The new cases were reported out of 1,11,586 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. The state also registered 5,037 discharges and 65 deaths today. Of the new cases, Cachar reported 467 cases, 445 in Tinsukia, 384 in Kamrup Metro and 330 in Nagaon. The total deaths count district-wise are: Kamrup Metro (10), Kamrup Rural (9), Jorhat (7), Sivasagar (5), Cachar (4), Darrang (4), Dibrugarh (4), Bongaigaon (3), Golaghat (3), Morigaon (3), Barpeta (2), Hojai (2), Nalbari (2), Sonitpur (2), Udalguri (2), Baksa (1). Meanwhile, the total recoveries have surged to 3,54,810 with 86.28 per cent.