Assam to get Rs 300 cr from World Bank to deal with Covid-19

Source : IANS
Author : IANS
Last Updated: Mon, May 18th, 2020, 22:47:15hrs

Guwahati, May 18 (IANS) The Assam government expects to get Rs 300 crore from the World Bank to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic management effectively, state Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday.

He said that of the Rs 300 crore World Bank aid, 80 per cent is a grant and remaining 20 per cent a loan. "Per head cost of quarantine for 14 days is Rs 30,000. Around one lakh people in Assam have to be in quarantine. We don't have sufficient funds for the effective quarantine of the possible number of people, that's why we negotiated with the World Bank for financial assistance," he told the media here.

"The negotiation with the World Bank through the central government's Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) is now in advance stage. The DEA has encouraged us for World Bank funding."

Sarma also said that the Assam government has launched a new scheme "Ruthless Quarantine With Big Heart". "Under this mandatory quarantine protocol, each suspected person must be in 14 days quarantine."

He said that if the home or institutional quarantine system failed, it would be a big challenge for the people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The minister said that under the Assam Community Surveillance Plan (ACSP), no Covid-19 patient was found yet even after the health workers and doctors have already visited 16,000 villages across the state.

The Assam government on May 7 launched an ambitious community-based surveillance (ACSP) for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) across the state to contain the possible spread of Covid-19. Under the ACSP, health workers including doctors would go to all 30,000 villages to identify the ILI and SARI cases in the villages. ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) and MPW (Multi-Purpose Workers) along with other health staff would be the front line workers to undertake this.

Sarma also said that Assam would be greatly benefited from the economic packages announced by the Central government.

"State government's cash flow of the fund would be increased by Rs 10,000 crore. Assam has 66,000 MSMEs. The scheme and financial package announced by the Central government would be more beneficial and purposeful for the people if the Assam government extends its matching share," he said.

Meanwhile, a Covid-19 patient died in Assam on Monday taking the state's fatalities to three, while nine more tested coronavirus positive in the past 24 hours raising the state's tally to 106. Of the total, 41 have recovered, two migrated to other states and 60 cases are active.