Covid-19 cases in North-East double from 100 to past 200 in just 4 days
A sudden rise in the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Tripura and a steady increase in patients in Assam have resulted in the tally in the North-East to cross the 200-mark on Saturday.
It took just four days for the figure to double from 100 to 200 plus Covid-19 cases. The first case in the region was detected in Manipur on March 24 and it took 24 days for the figure to reach 50 and another 18 days to cross 100 on May 4.
Till Sunday morning, the seven states in the region had 212 cases. Tripura leads the tally with 132 cases, followed by Assam with 63, including one patient from Nagaland who was tested and treated in Guwahati, and Meghalaya with 13.
Manipur had two cases and one each in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh—all patients in these three states have recovered and have been discharged. No fresh cases have been reported there in over a month. Nagaland hasn’t recorded any case till date.
There has been a sudden spike in cases in Tripura, which had claimed Covid-19 free status on April 24 after the first two patients had tested negative.
But on May 2, two personnel of the Border Security Force’s (BSF’s) 138th battalion in Ambassa were found positive. A day later, 12 more people from the same battalion tested positive.
The trend continued in the next few days with more positive cases getting confirmed among BSF personnel and their family members of the force’s 138th and 86th battalion—both stationed in Ambassa of Dhalai district in the state.
“17 persons found Covid-19 positive in Tripura today from 86th battalion of BSF, Ambassa. No civilian found positive among them,” Biplab Kumar Deb, Tripura chief minister, tweeted late on Saturday.
Alarmed with the spurt in Covid-19 cases without any known source of infection, the Tripura government has asked BSF authorities to conduct an inquiry. The state has also requested Delhi-based National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to send a team to the state to probe the cases and arrest spread of the respiratory disease.
Assam has also witnessed a rise in cases following the opening of the state’s borders for residents returning back from other parts of the country after the Union home ministry allowed inter-state movement.
Two women from Jorhat, who returned from Mumbai in an ambulance, as well as the driver of the vehicle, were found to have been infected with Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, on Saturday, taking the state’s tally to 63 cases.
Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the two women were bringing back a cancer patient. Questions have been raised on why the ambulance driver was allowed to leave the state.
“The driver left for Mumbai and we allowed him to go as he was asymptomatic. Now on our request he has been stopped in Bihar for hospitalization (sic),” Sarma tweeted on Sunday morning.
Till Sunday morning, Assam had recorded 34 recoveries and two deaths. Twenty-seven Covid-19 patients are still recovering in various hospitals.
After a gap of 19 days, Meghalaya recorded another positive case on Saturday taking the state’s tally to 13 cases. While one patient has died, 10 others have recovered and two are under treatment.
All cases in the state have links with the first patient, a doctor from Shillong, who died on April 15.
“Unfortunately we have another positive case in Shillong. It’s a person working in the same house (the first patient’s house),” Conrad Sangma, Meghalaya’s chief minister, tweeted on Saturday.
“As a precaution, health department was retesting all the primary contacts (of the first patient) and in the process we found this positive case. The person is safe and healthy and showing no symptoms (sic),” he added.
(With inputs from Priyanka Deb Barman in Agartala)