Around 70 lakh people, or roughly one-fifth of the state’s population, are expected to get the much anticipated COVID vaccine during the first phase. This was informed by state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who said that the government is constantly following all developments related to the availability of vaccine.

Sarma informed that the centre has asked the state to prepare three categories of people to be vaccinated in the first phase which includes the frontline workers like medical officers, doctors and nurses. The second category would include police, paramilitary and other security agencies, while people above 50 years have been listed in the third category.

Considering the improved Covid scenario and the declining number of cases in Assam, the health minister informed that temporary COVID care centres in the state will be shut down, and that testing would now be conducted out only in hospitals. Further, Sarma added that contact tracing will continue as there would be no room for complacency.

Meanwhile, final year students will be able to avail hostel facilities from December 15, following the issuance of a new set of SOPs. Sarma added that elementary schools would be reopened from January 1st next year and the dates for the reopening of other classes would be determined in the coming days.

Additionally, the government is also considering the discontinuation of online classes, Sarma informed, adding that a limited number of such classes are being conducted as of now. All said and done, the new set of notification clearly comes as a ray of hope for the state after nearly nine months of uncertainty so far as the COVID vaccine is concerned.