Guwahati, Aug 14 (PTI) Around 500 COVID-19 patients
have died in Assam, including 300-350 due to comorbidities,
Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on
Sarma said the state has reported 169 deaths with
underlying cause as COVID-19 pneumonia.
"There is another long list of 300-350 COVID-19
patients, who have died due to cancer, kidney failure, heart
disease or other comorbidities," Sarma told a gathering here
at a plasma donation camp organised by the BJP.
However, deaths caused by other ailments are not
included in the list of COVID-19 fatalities as per central
government guidelines, he said.
Assam has so far reported a total of 71,795 COVID-19
positive cases, of which 22,240 are active and 49,383 have
Last month, Sarma had announced the formation of a
death audit board to certify the underlying cause of deaths of
all COVID-19 patients in the state.
The minister said 30 per cent of all the COVID-19
patients who underwent kidney dialysis have died, as per a
data analysis by the state health department.
"If a cancer patient becomes COVID-19 positive, it is
very dangerous. We have asked cancer patients not to come to
hospital for treatment because if they contract the virus, it
will be very serious," he said.
The COVID-19 death rate in Assam stands at 0.24 per
cent, which is the "lowest in India", Sarma said.
"One major reason for the very low death rate in Assam
is the success of plasma therapy. At Gauhati Medical College
and Hospital, the fatality count has become almost nil," he
The Health and Family Welfare Department, in a release
issued on Thursday night, said 202 COVID-19 recovered people
have donated their plasma at five medical colleges in
Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur and Silchar.
"I received a call from Gujarat for plasma donation,
but for Rs 16,000 per unit. In other states, plasma donation
has become business. In Assam, people are voluntarily coming
forward for saving lives and service to mankind," Sarma said.
Lauding the BJP for organising plasma donation camps
at five places, he said a call was given to all political
parties for motivating people to donate plasma and hold such
programmes, but "only the workers of the ruling party came
The minister also slammed the Congress for its
criticism over handling of the pandemic, accusing the
opposition party of demotivating doctors and other frontline
workers instead of supporting the government''s thrust to
provide treatment to people.
"Today, 292 people have volunteered to donate plasma
at the five medical colleges across Assam in the camps
organised by the BJP. They will be called later for the
donation, as we cannot collect so many units in a single day,"
Sarma said the state government will give preference
to all the plasma donors in any official scheme or jobs in
"Today, I will not announce anything, but the
government will adequately recognise and offer its love and
affection to the plasma donors for their service to mankind,"
Sarma added that the Assam government is spending an
average of Rs 70,000 for each COVID-19 patient, who have been
admitted in ICU, and most of them are poor people. PTI TR