Meghalaya Goes Into Shock Over Detection Of First Covid-19 Positive Case In State
A senior doctor at a private healthcare facility in the state tested positive for the virus. His contact history revealed that his son-in-law is a pilot with Air India.
A senior physician at a prominent private healthcare facility in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong tested positive for the dreaded Covid-19 virus on Monday evening.
News of this was received with shock and consternation by the government and people of the state, that has very strictly observed lockdown restrictions and social distancing norms.
The 65-year-old physician has a contact history: his son-in-law is a pilot with Air India and had flown in from abroad and arrived in Shillong through Manipur on 22 March. But the detection of the virus after 22 days of that contact has come as a shock and surprise.
The private hospital the doctor was attached with has been sealed and all the patients, their attendants and hospital staff have been quarantined within the hospital itself. A branch of the same hospital in a neighbouring district has also been sealed.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the detection of the state’s first positive case “despite inter-state borders being sealed even before the nationwide lockdown started” and people strictly following lockdown restrictions and social distancing norms “has come as a surprise”.
Sangma said that all family members of the physician and all those who came in touch with him over the past three weeks have also been quarantined and are being tested. He urged the people not to panic and said the state machinery was fully prepared to meet the situation.
The state health authorities have started tracing all primary and secondary contacts of the physician and his family for isolation and testing.
Immediately after news of the physician testing Covid-19 positive surfaced, the state government clamped curfew for 48 hours (it commenced from 6pm on Monday) in East Khasi Hills (including capital city Shillong) and neighbouring Ri Bhoi districts.
Apart from the detection of Meghalaya’s first positive case on Monday, Nagaland also reported its first positive case on Sunday. A total of 39 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported from the Northeast till date.
Assam accounts for a majority of 31 cases with 30 of them being Tablighi Jamaat returnees from the Markaz at Delhi’s Nizamuddin. Manipur and Tripura have registered two cases each while Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya account for one case each.
The lockdown has been total in all these states and few, if any, cases of violations have been reported. People of the states have also been following social distancing norms very scrupulously.
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