Assam on Wednesday initiated a focused surveillance programme to randomly check over 50,000 samples in the capital city of Guwahati to ascertain a possible community transmission of the novel coronavirus.

After the city recorded a sharp increase in COVID-19 positive cases, the Assam government has decided to launch Assam Targeted Surveillance Program (ATSP) from Jun 17 by aiming to conduct 50,000 random tests for the deadly virus in 10 days time.

Under the programme, the state has recognized 4 possible sources of transmission – truck parking and unloading bays together with railway items yards/godowns, frontline district officers, resort staffs and relations of individuals launched from institutional quarantine.

Following the results of the tests, the state government will reconsider the issue of full-scale lockdown in Guwahati.

Achyut Baishya, Principal, Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) has urged the people to come out for random swab tests. He called on the people living in the containment zones, in particular, to take the initiative and test for COVID-19 in the city.

Guwahati, along with other parts of the state, has recently witnessed an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. The state authorities has additionally begun mass testing in the cirt, a total of 25 COVID-19 cases with no travel history have been detected.

The state’s COVID-19 tally stands at 4,605, of which 1,952 are active cases. 2,642 patients have been discharged so far and 8 have succumbed to the virus.