Alert in Assam after persons with no contact or travel history test Covid-19 positive
Assam will test all 700 patients currently admitted to the Guwahati Medical College for possible coronavirus infection.Updated: May 08, 2020 20:17 IST
Authorities in Assam are on alert after people without any contact or recent travel history outside the state tested positive for coronavirus in the past few days. On Thursday, the state recorded eight new cases and three more were registered on Friday, taking the state tally to 56.
Seven of the 11 new cases in the last two days were detected in Silchar among returnees from Ajmer, but a couple among the other four found positive in Guwahati had no contact or travel history.
“From these cases, we can clearly assume there is spread of coronavirus infection in Guwahati. That is why I request the public to immediately call 104 or get in touch with our healthcare personnel if they have symptoms of dry cough, fever, respiratory issues and diarrhoea,” Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.
The two Guwahati cases to have triggered an alarm include a 16-year-old girl who was detected to be Covid-19 positive after her death on Thursday and a 55-year-old woman. The other two cases include a doctor enrolled in MD course at Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) who was involved in the screening of Covid-19 patients at the hospital and the fourth person had returned from West Bengal on May 6.
“We are sorry that since her disease couldn’t be detected earlier, the 16-year-old passed away. It is also unfortunate that the PG student who was involved in screening Covid-19 patients in GMCH was found positive,” Sarma said.
Authorities have closed GMCH, the biggest hospital in Assam, for new patients till May 10 in order to sanitize the premises. A total of 386 persons including two GMCH professors, doctors, students, nurses and attendants have been placed in quarantine and their swabs taken for tests.
The two hostels at GMCH for the PG students have been declared containment zones. Likewise, the employee’s colony of B. Barooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) where the 16-year-old girl was staying with her grandmother has also been turned into a containment zone.
“We have decided to test all the 700 patients at the GMCH and all other doctors, nurses, hospital attendants etc for Covid-19. Talks are on with private labs in Delhi to get the tests done expeditiously,” Sarma said.
In view of the latest developments, the state government has decided to put all persons returning to Assam in quarantine facilities at 5 different locations and test them for the virus.
Till Thursday a total of 1032 persons had returned to Assam by road from other states using private vehicles or hired transport.