A doctor from Bethany Hospital in Shillong tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, making it Meghalaya’s first confirmed case of the deadly virus Credit: Representational image

Shillong: Soon after Meghalaya reported its first positive COVID-19 case on Monday, the entire corona task forces of the state government sprung into action to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Within 18 hours of the first case being reported in the state, 90 samples were tested; however, the results are yet to come through. The government has also been able to establish 2,000 contacts, besides listed down the primary contacts of the patient.

While addressing the media, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma informed that the government has also sought the help of Assam government so that the state can carry out more tests.

“We have also got down to secondary contacts to a large extent, which takes time. Within 18 hours, we have been able to establish 2,000 contacts. In 18 hours, 90 tests have been done but we are yet to get the results. We will continue to do more tests,” said Sangma.

Identifying, isolating and testing will be the main strategy that the government intends to follow now.

Sangma informed that patient right now is under non-invasive ventilator and is classified under category C (patients who have traveled from countries where there has been a virus outbreak but do not yet show symptoms).

Sangma said that the team is looking at the entire history of the case. According to some information, the relative of the doctor who tested positive has a travel history to some of the affected countries.

“The timeframe during which the travel took place and the person’s entry to Shillong and in all likelihood staying in the same house, the relative is very much within the 14-day period. There could be and most likely scenario the story of travel history linked with the 14-day quarantine period within which the travel was made to Shillong, looks like the reason why this could have happened. But there could be other reasons too, which we are still investigating,” said Sangma.

Sangma informed that the relative of the person (doctor) who has tested positive, when he had entered the state, had registered with 108 and informed the authorities. The medical department had visited the concerned person but he did not show any symptoms of COVID-19.

“The quarantine is very important and home quarantine must be taken very seriously. I urge everyone that it is important to stay safe. Please use masks at all times and maintain personal hygiene, social distancing and avoid touching your face,” urged Sangma.

A meeting was held late on Monday evening with the officers in charge to discuss the plan of action. Instructions have been given to both branches of Bethany hospital to be completely closed. The staff who have been staying and who have been on duty have all been asked to quarantine themselves.

On Monday, Meghalaya reported its first COVID-19 case after a doctor from Bethany Hospital in Shillong tested positive for the deadly virus.

As per a press release issued by the chief secretary of Meghalaya, a doctor from Bethany Hospital, Shillong has been tested COVID-19 positive today [Monday]. “The District Magistrate Shillong has imposed curfew for 48 hours in the Shillong Agglomeration area starting from 6.00 am of 14th April, 2020 with the exception of essential services,” the release said.

“All the residents are requested to kindly cooperate and refrain from coming out of the houses to enable the Health Department officials to do contat tracing and take appropriate remedial measures,” the order said.

Press release issued by the chief secretary of Meghalaya on Monday

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