Assam CM Sonowal advocates for monitoring cell for health and hygiene of tea workers and farmers:

Guwahati, April 17: Health and hygiene of tea workers to be monitered by Sonowal considering the importance of tea in the economic health of the state as well as in the country, though some tea gardens were allowed to resume their functioning with minimum workforce, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal stressed on adequate social distancing norms for the tea gardens in the changing socio-economic landscape emanated in the aftermath of the novel Coronavirus outbreak in the state.

Visiting Biswanath district on Thursday to assess the preparedness of the district to deal with COVID 19 epidemic in the state, at the conference hall of DC office, Assam Chief Minister Sonowal asked the Deputy Commissioner to create a conducive working environment for the tea workers in Biswanath district for enabling the tea industry to aid state’s growth in the corona affected atmosphere.

Sonowal also asked the DC to constitute monitoring cells which will be exclusively mandated to inspect the social distancing norms including health and hygiene protocols of the workers engaged in the tea gardens in Biswanath district.

He asked the DC to ensure that during the extended lockdown period the nine thousand small tea growers do not have to face any encumbrances to pursue their tea-related activities including carrying plucked leaves to the factories.

Sonowal said that following the advisories of the Centre, the State government has taken all necessary steps to enforce the extended lockdown to contain and control COVID 19 outbreak.

“During this time though regulated permissions were granted to resume agricultural activities; utmost care should be taken to monitor the health and well being of the farmers,” Sonowal said.

Health and hygiene of tea workers

He also maintained that though farmers would be engaged in agricultural activities, they should be in a position to use tractors, power tillers, etc to reduce human involvement and increase social distancing.

Chief Minister Sonowal also observed that the DC should be in regular interaction with the Minister in charge of Biswanathdistrict along with the MP and MLA and take coordinated steps to keep the district at bay from novel coronavirus infection.

He also said that the nine lakh residents of Biswanath district should not face any shortage of essential activities during the lockdown period and asked the DC to maintain the supply-chain and asked him to monitor regularly so that the prices of essential commodities do not spiral during the lockdown period.

Sonowal asked the DC to put his men and machinery on the toes to keep a tab on the unscrupulous elements who using the prevailing situation might indulge in creating a shortage of essential commodities and skyrocketing their prices.

Stating the Central government’s report of identifying the 32 districts of Assam as high and moderate COVID 19 infection-prone areas, Sonowal urged upon everybody to remain alert and take all steps to thwart the spread of the virus. He also asked Joint Direct, Health to maintain stock of all life-saving drugs including insulin, anti-venom, etc in the district.

It may be noted that in Biswanath district, as many as 3442 people have been kept in-home quarantine and swab tests have been conducted on 17 people and 15 of them have come negative and the reports of two are awaiting.

Five people have been kept in an institutional quarantine center and for any emergency, 197 isolating beds have been kept ready.

Health and hygiene of tea workers

Handloom and Textile Minister Ranjit Dutta, MP Pallab Lochan Das, MLAs Padma Hazarika, Pramod Borthakur, Utpal Bora, Prasanta Phukan, Bimal Bora, DC Dhruba Jyoti Das, and other senior officers were present at the meeting.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Sonowal also visited Majuli and inspected the facilities including the isolation ward in Sri Pitambar Dev Goswami Civil Hospital. He later held a review meeting at the conference hall of DC Office, Majuli at Gormur and took stock of different measures put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the island district. Sonowal also underscored the need for social distancing during the lockdown period to bail the state out of the menace of COVID 19.

Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Naba Kumar Doley, MLAs Prasanta Phukan, Bimal Bora, DC Bikram Koiree and other senior officers were present during the meeting.

Chief Minister Sonowal during his whirlwind tour also visited Dhemaji district today and took stock of the steps that the district administration took for the management of the COVID-19 outbreak.