Guwahati/Shillong/Agartala, April 15 (IANS) With six more coronavirus cases reported in Meghalaya and one fresh case in Assam on Wednesday, the total number of such cases in the northeastern region (excluding Sikkim) reached 44, with 32 from Assam alone, Chief Ministers and Health Ministers said.
Two persons have so far died in the North-East — a senior 69-year-old doctor in Meghalaya on Wednesday and a 65-years-old man, with a travel history to Saudi Arabia and Delhi in Hailakandi district in southern Assam, on April 10.
In addition to 32 cases in Assam, the count in other N-E states is: six in Meghalaya (after one death), two each in Manipur and Tripura, and one each in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Of the 44 people, 32 had attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month.
Confirming the death of the veteran doctor, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said in a tweet : “The first COVID-19 positive patient in Meghalaya passed away this morning (Wednesday). The senior doctor, who was the founder of the private Bethany Hospital, breathed his last in the wee hours. He had tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday evening”.
The Chief Minister in a separate tweet said that of the swab samples tested so far, six have reported positive for corona and they are all family members and aides of the doctor of the private hospital. The six tested positive include two women and a child. Six other samples are being re-tested.
The government sanitised the adjoining areas of the Bethany Hospital, particularly Nongrim Hills, near the hospital in Shillong. These areas around the hospital in Shillong and Nongpoh have been sealed.
Contact-tracing of the doctor is continuing. The deceased doctor had no travel history except that his son-in-law, who is a pilot, had been to COVID-19 infected countries, and had returned home on March 22.
According to health officials in Shillong, the pilot, however, did not show any symptoms of coronavirus and was an asymptomatic case.
In a related development, Manipur Health and Family Welfare Department’s Additional Director Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang told IANS on phone that swab samples of 20 people, including 11 close contacts of a Shillong-based Air India pilot, who spent three nights in Imphal from March 17 after returning from New York, have been found COVID-19 negative.
In Guwahati, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in a tweet, said: “A woman from Dhubri (western Assam) has tested COVID-19 positive. She is wife of a COVID-19 positive person who is connected both with Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, and Athgaon Kabristan congregation in Guwahati”.
In Agartala, health officials said of the two persons, who had earlier tested COVID-19 positive, the first patient (a woman) has already been cured and discharged from the hospital on Wednesday and that she would be in institutional quarantine for next 14 days.
The health condition of the second patient, a jawan of the Tripura State Rifles, is also stable.
In Aizawl, Mizoram Health Minister R. Lalthangliana in a separate press release said in Aizawl that the 22-year-old woman from the state, who tested corona positive in a Mumbai hospital, is a breast cancer patient.
“A doctor from Mizoram, who worked in a hospital in Meghalaya, also tested positive for coronavirus in Shillong on Tuesday night. The lone COVID-19 patient being treated at the Zoram Medical College in Aizawl for the last month, is showing good progress, and on Monday, his ventilator was removed and he was breathing normally,” the release quoted the Minister as saying.