6 Chennai returnees from Mon and one Rajathan returnee from Kohima tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday Credit: Representational image

Kohima: Of the seven fresh cases that were detected in the state on Saturday morning, six were from the institutional quarantine in Mon, while one was from Kohima — a returnee from rajasthan. The six persons from Mon district — all of whom are Chennai returnees — had earlier tested negative and were released from Dimapur quarantine centre. Upon retest, the returnees were found to be positive for COVID-19.

Speaking with EastMojo, Mon deputy commissioner Thavaseelan K said that out of 168 Chennai returnees from Mon district, 145 were released from the institutional quarantine centres in Dimapur after having tested negative for COVID-19 — to further undergo the remaining quarantine period in their respective districts.

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In regard to the fresh cases, the DC mentioned that these returnees reached Mon on June 2 after completing 10 days in Dimapur and their samples were collected for retest after seven days. Seven samples were retested through the TrueNat test on June 10 and all samples tested positive. Therefore, the samples were further sent to ICMR for confirmation as per protocol on June 11.

Out of the seven samples that were sent to Dibrugarh for RT PCR test, six resulted as positive. With the detection of six active cases in the district, the quarantine centres at Wangkhao College and ITI campus, where the Chennai returnees are kept, have been activated as a containment zones. The Covid care centre has also been activated to treat the patients as all cases are asymptomatic and are in the age group of 18-32.

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Although it is yet to be ascertained, Thavaseelan said that the returnees could have either been infected while in the quarantine centre in Dimapur or could be due to the low viral load while the first test was being conducted.

Besides the 14 days mandatory institutional quarantine for all returnees to the state, Mon district has mandated another 14 days of institutional quarantine for all returnees to the district — a total of 28 days of institutional quarantine. The Mon DC also earlier issued an order that all returnees to the district will be tested — this includes those who were already tested from outside the district.

He informed EastMojo that the district currently has around 600 returnees of which 145 are Chennai returnees. Up to 385 returnees from Kerela will also reach the district on Saturday night, taking the total number of returnees to over 1,000. Mon district has the second highest number of returnees after Dimapur.

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Through an update, the DC also appealed the public not to panic and assured that district administration and the empowered group are taking all possible measures to ensure that the containment of cases and also for the speedy recovery of the patients.

Meanwhile, in view of the impending arrival of the returnees from Dimapur and the proposed testing of the returnees in the quarantine centres, a total lockdown has been imposed in Mon town from June 12 and will continue till June 15, with exemptions for permitted services.

“The total lockdown is enforced with a view to facilitate to transportation of people to various quarantine centres in Mon District and collection of throat/nasal swab for COVID-19 testing. DC informed that any person found violating this order will be penalised under relevant provision of the law,” a DIPR report said.

The first cases of COVID-19 in the state were detected on May 25 when three of the Chennai returnees tested positive for COVID-19. The first Shramik special train carrying over 1,200 returnees from Chennai had reached Nagaland on May 22.

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