Kohima: After Sikkim, now Nagaland reported its first cases of COVID-19 on Monday morning. Three persons who returned from Chennai in Tamil Nadu — two men and one woman — have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the Northeastern state.
This was announced by principal health secretary Menukhol John at a press conference in Kohima on Monday.
While two are showing mild symptoms, one is said to be asymptomatic, said the official. The samples were tested at the BSL-3 in Kohima and the results came out early on Monday morning, John said.
As per a declaration of test results issued by health miniser S Pangnyu Phom, out of the three positive cases, two — a 20-year-old man and 23-year-old woman — are currently in Dimpapur, while a 26-year-old man is in Kohima.
The patients were part of the first special train which was arranged by the Nagaland state government to evacuate stranded students from Chennai. The train had reached Dimapur station around 6:20 pm on Friday.
On arrival at the Agri Expo, during medical screening, the woman was having symptoms and was directly sent to isolation ward at COVID-19 Hospital and upon confirmation of her result was shifted to the COVID Ward at COVID-19 Hospital, Phom said.
The 20-year-old male patient was sent to a quarantine centre since he did not have any symptoms on arrival at Agri Expo. However, he later developed symptoms, so he was brought to the isolation ward at COVID-19 Hospital for sample collection. His result came back as positive, the minister said.
The third patient was directly sent to Kohima from the railway station upon arrival.
As per contact tracing by district surveillance team Dimapur, it was learnt that two of the positive patients were sitting adjacent to each other in the coach.
Chief secretary Temjen Toy said that the ‘real challenge’ has now started. However, he and principal health secretary Menukhol John have appealed people not to panic and to respect the privacy of all those who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile, chief minster Neiphiu Rio also urged everyone not to panic. Taking to Twitter, he said: “Unfortunately, 2 persons in Dimapur and 1 in Kohima have been tested positive for #COVID__19. Please do not panic. We need to handle it with utmost care and responsibility. Necessary action of contact tracing & containment measures are being taken and situation closely monitored.”