Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to drop, the Assam government has decided to discontinue mandatory testing at railway stations, land routes amd airports from March 1, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Wednesday.

The state government had last year made it mandatory for all travellers arriving the state to get RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. However, some categories were later exempted from mandatory testing and quarantine rules.

Children below 10 years of age who don't exhibit any coronavirus symptom, foreign dignitaries and diplomats of all embassies and diplomatic missions, officials of multilateral funding agencies like World Bank and Asian Development Bank, besides those from investigating, intelligence and security agencies and Income Tax Department on official visits to Assam were exempted from the mandatory testing in October.

The fresh relaxation comes as the number COVID-19 cases have been declining steadily in the state. The tally rose to 2,17,229 as 19 more people tested positive for the infection on Monday, while one new fatality pushed the death toll to 1,085, the National Health Mission (NHM) said.

The state has so far tested 65,86,636 samples for COVID-19 and the recovery rate is 98.73 per cent, it said.

The NHM further said that a total of 99,928 persons have so far received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine across the state.

Of the total vaccinated persons, 64 have developed minor side effects (adverse event following immunisation) due to the vaccine, it added.

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