Around a hundred patients broke out of a COVID Care Centre in Assam’s Kamrup district and blocked National Highway 31, alleging that they were not being provided with proper food and water, officials said.

Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Kailash Kartik along with police rushed to the facility in Changsari on Thursday and asked the patients to clear the highway and return to the centre so that the matter could be resolved through discussions, they said.

Tension prevailed in the area, however, after assurance the patients returned to the centre, an officer said.

The patients alleged that they were not being provided with food and water and the condition of the beds was also not up to the mark as 10-12 of them were being kept in a single room.

The deputy commissioner assured them that their allegations will be looked into and efforts made to address them, the officer said.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said if the patients are not happy at the COVID care facility, they can opt for home quarantine.

“We have brought them to the facility so that they can be cured and they do not infect others. If they are not happy there, they can sign the undertaking and go under home quarantine,” he said at a press conference.

The health workers are on duty day and night and there may have been some delay as they are overburdened, he said.

“In other states, even the testing is conducted on payment but in Assam, the entire expenditure — from testing to their stay and food — are borne by the state government,” Sarma added.

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