100 patients break out of COVID centre in Assam, block NH over food, water

The patients alleged they were not provided food and water and 10-12 of them were lodged in a single room

The state on Friday crossed the 20,000 mark with 892 new COVID-19 cases and the death toll due to the infection reached 50 with two deaths on Thursday. Photo: PTI

Bedlam broke loose in a COVID-19 care centre in Assam’s Kamrup district on Thursday (July 16) when around a hundred patients broke out of the facility and blocked the National Highway 31 to protest against the alleged unavailability of basic facilities.

The protesting patients alleged that they were not provided with food and water and the condition of the beds was also not up to the mark while 10-12 of them were kept in a single room.

Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Kailash Kartik along with police rushed to the facility in Changsari and asked the patients to clear the highway and return to the centre so that the matter can be resolved through discussions, they said.

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The patients, reportedly returned to the care centre after being assured by the officials. The deputy commissioner assured them that their allegations will be looked into and efforts will be made to address those, the officer said.

Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said if the patients are not happy at the COVID care facility, they can opt for home quarantine.

“We have brought them to the facility so that they can be cured and do not infect others. If they are not happy there, they can sign the undertaking and go under home quarantine,” he said at a press conference.

Related news: Bangladeshi man dies in judicial custody in Assam; rights bodies cries foul

The health workers are on duty day and night and there may have been some delay as they are overburdened, he said.

“In other states, even the testing is conducted on payment but in Assam, the entire expenditure — from testing to their stay and food — are borne by the state government,” Sarma added.

The state on Friday crossed the 20,000 mark with 892 new COVID-19 cases and the death toll due to the infection reached 50 with two deaths on Thursday. The total positive cases in the state reached 20,646 and out of the new cases, 598 patients are from Kamrup Metropolitan district which includes 184 from Guwahati Central Jail.

(With inputs from agencies)

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