A day after chairing his first Cabinet meeting as Assam’s new Chief Minister, BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday that unlike other parts of India, his state does not face vaccine shortages, to the extent that Assam can vaccinate at least 1 lakh citizens daily.
“Assam can immunize nearly 1 lakh people/day… Assam will not suffer from a vaccination shortage. I am certain that we will be able to vaccinate a sizable amount of citizens over the next two months. Sarma told Assam will administer a total of one lakh vaccinations daily.
He noted that the coronavirus pandemic is “out of proportion to our expectations,” noting that India is one of 12 countries that have developed a vaccine for Covid-19.
“Among twelve countries India is one that has established a Covid vaccine. There is an out-of-control pandemic… Today, we’re announcing a new scheme (in Assam) under which everyone who generates oxygen would get a one-year subsidy on electricity,” he added.
Additionally, Sarma said that health is a state responsibility and that “after the pandemic is over, the media would question state governments about whether they did anything.”
“Every week, my state receives the whole Remdesivir limit. Every day, the Centre provides me with strategic guidance. In the health sector, the state government would remain the main mover and shaker… The Central government is fully supportive of us,” the new Chief Minister said.
In response to the rising number of Covid-19 incidents, the Assam government directed the closure of all workplaces, religious sites, and weekly markets in urban and semi-urban areas for the next 15 days, as well as a restriction on citizens’ movement between 2 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“ We are proceeding progressively, While a full lockdown is an option, We are hopeful that these interventions will be effective over the next two or three days. Government officials of the rank of deputy secretary and beyond, as well as senior executives in the corporate sector, would be permitted to report to work before 1 p.m. for emergency and critical tasks. For a period of 15 days, all religious institutions shall be closed… Funeral/last rites-related gatherings shall be limited to a maximum of ten people,” Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua said in his official order.