Assam’s lone non-Markaz patient baffles officials, shows symptoms month after travel
The 44-year-old businessman who stays in a posh apartment complex in Guwahati had returned from a trip to Delhi on March 1. But so far the source of his infection is a mystery.Updated: Apr 04, 2020 18:54 IST
The total number of Covid-19 positive patients in Assam rose to 25 on Saturday with five new cases being reported. Twenty four of them are connected to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month, but the focus is on the lone patient not linked to that meet.
The 44-year-old businessman who stays in a posh apartment complex in Guwahati had returned from a trip to Delhi on March 1. But so far the source of his infection is a mystery.
“We don’t think the patient got infected in Delhi because though he returned from the capital on March 1 he showed no symptoms for a month and was detected positive only on April 4,” said Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“If he was infected in Delhi, his symptoms should have been visible within 4 weeks and not after that. So we suspect he got the virus from someone he came in contact with in Guwahati after his return from Delhi,” he added.
The government has identified 111 people (including some who had been to Kolkata and Delhi last month) who were in contact with the patient. Their samples have been taken and sent for testing.
Many of those 111 people have been sent to government quarantine facilities and the rest put in home isolation. The apartment complex where the patient resides, and has over 150 families, has been sealed.
“Until we get results of all 111 samples we can’t say it’s a case of local transmission. In all probability this doesn’t seem to be local transmission as the patient has confirmed that he met people who came from Delhi and Kolkata in the past month,” said Sarma.
The minister said the patient might have got the virus from someone who was carrying it without showing any symptoms of Covid-19. He is at present admitted in Guwahati Medical College Hospital and his condition is stable.
Till Saturday, tests were conducted on 1529 samples at five different labs in the state. Of this, while 25 tested positive, 1308 have been found negative and results are awaited for 196 samples.
Of the 25 positive patients, 24 had visited the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month. Till Saturday, tests had been conducted on samples of 812 people from the state connected to the event—636 have tested negative and results are awaited for 152 samples.
“It is unfortunate that every day we are getting fresh inputs about more and more people from the state who had visited the congregation. I appeal to the district and state level functionaries of Tablighi Jamaat in Assam to give us the entire list of attendees voluntarily,” said Sarma.
“We have not got the kind of response we expected from them. If we don’t get all the information within Sunday we might be forced to ask the police to get involved in tracing them,” he added.
Sarma refuted allegations that the 24 patients connected to the Tablighi Jamaat are not getting proper medical treatment or food at the hospitals where they have been admitted.