No more free food for Covid patients, govt to charge for paying cabins: Himanta Biswa Sarma

DY365
DY365
Published: August 29,2020 07:03 PM
DY365

Story highlights

August 29, 2020: The Covid-19 patients in Assam will no more get free food at the Covid care centres and hospitals. Moreover, the patients who choose to stay in paying cabins will also have to pay

August 29, 2020: The Covid-19 patients in Assam will no more get free food at the Covid care centres and hospitals. Moreover, the patients who choose to stay in paying cabins will also have to pay charges for them.



This was announced by health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday. Till now, those patients who don’t want to stay at Covid wards are accommodated in paying cabins without any charge. Dr Sharma urged the patients to arrange home-cooked food if they can arrange as this will help the government to feed the financially poor patients.





He also said that in emergency situation, the RT-PCR test report can be obtained within 24 hours for a charge of ₹2200.00. Moreover, the discharged patients will have to arrange for their trip to home from hospital by themselves and government will not provide conveyance anymore.



Dr Sharma feared that there can be a shortage of oxygen cylinders as the production of oxygen is not as enough to meet the demand. Presently, 37.46 MT oxygen is produced in Assam of which 25 MT is already in use and the number of patients requiring oxygen support is increasing. As on Saturday, 126 patients are in ICU and 493 are on oxygen support.



He further informed that the doubling rate of Covid-19 has increased to 23 days while the mortality rate has increased 0.4% in the last few days.





Regarding the opening of schools, he said that the deadline for RT-PCR test of teachers of schools and colleges has been increased till September 15. Those who are already tested negative will go to their respective schools or colleges from September 1.  For the first 15 days, they will sanitise the school and its premises and rearrange the seats maintaining social distancing norms.



The LP and MP school teachers will give study materials and question papers to students while distributing mid-day meals to them at school. They will have to check the answer scripts while the students’ will come to collect their midday meal the next week.



The HS and TDC final year students will attend their classes in small groups of 6-8 students. Teachers of institutions that have been converted to Covid care centres will be attached to other institutes by the respective deputy commissioner.



Dr. Sharma, who also holds the education portfolio, said that nearly 17,000 students who secured star marks in HSLC examination this year will be provided cash assistance of ₹20,000 instead of laptops.



Meanwhile, Dr Sharma as finance minister announced a slew of schemes for the people. The government will provide a cash assistance of ₹2.5 lakh to 8000 Naamghars of the state. However, this will not be applicable for other religious institutions. Besides, ₹10 lakh wil be given to the century-old places of worship of any faith.





He also said that the cash assistance for purchasing gold among the beneficiaries of the “Arundhati” scheme will be distributed by October.



On being asked about the controversy surrounding distribution of scooty among meritorious girl candidates of HSSLC 2019 batch, he said the responsibility of procuring and distributing the same was given to ASTC. But the latter failed to complete the process within the previous budget. He said that the finance department is ready to release the fund if the ASTC resend its proposal to the department now.