Congress questions Assam Health Minister after doctor tests positive

The Opposition Congress has asked Assam’s Health Department if Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will be quarantined after a doctor seen in close proximity to him tested positive for COVID-19.

Mr. Sarma on Monday visited Singimari Model Hospital, a COVID-19 facility in Kamrup district. A doctor there, seen with him, tested positive.

The district authorities placed some doctors of the hospital in quarantine, traced 121 close contacts of the doctor and sent their swab samples for test. Members of the doctor’s family were also quarantined at home, which was placed under containment along with his private chamber and a first referral unit nearby.

“Guidelines for social distancing were visibly flouted and the doctor, who tested positive, was standing very close to the Minister at the hospital. Will the Health Department now place the Minister and all those close to him under quarantine and test their swab samples as a precautionary measure,” asked Debabrata Saikia, leader of the Congress Legislature Party.

Mr. Sarma told journalists that one need not worry as long as one wore a mask and followed other safety measures. “I have been visiting hospitals daily, interacting with doctors and COVID-19 patients for quite some time,” he said.

By 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Assam recorded 1,672 COVID-19 cases, with 1,261 of them active and 404 having been discharged after recovery. Four died and three migrated to other States.

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