Five more test positive for COVID-19, total tally in Assam reaches 58

Guwahati, May 8 (PTI) Five people, who had travelled from Rajasthan to Silchar, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, taking the total number of cases in Assam to 58, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Of the total 58 cases, 23 are active, he said.

'There are two more COVID-19 patients who travelled in the bus which ferried people from Rajasthan. They are from Cachar district,' the minister tweeted.

Three other persons tested positive earlier in the day, while four others tested positive on Thursday and another on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases related to this group, who came from Ajmer to 10.

The patients have been admitted to Silchar Medical College Hospital.

A bus carrying 45 passengers and crew, arrived at Silchar on Wednesday, after being given permission by the Ajmer Deputy Commissioner. Of them 10 have tested positive so far.

As the passengers had gone home briefly after screening, several areas in four villages of Cachar district has been declared as containment zones, he said. Direct and indirect contact tracing was still going on and 185 people have been quarantined in facilities so far.

There has been a spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Assam with 13 reported in the last 24 hours -- nine from Silchar and four from Guwahati.

Among the four positive cases in Guwahati, a 16-year old girl was found positive after she died on Thursday.

The minister had earlier told reporters that her sample was taken for COVID-19 test after her death and was found to be positive.

It is very unfortunate as she did not get the necessary treatment, Sarma said, adding, 'We will have to discuss with the Union Health Ministry whether we can declare her death due to COVID-19 as we did not treat her for the disease and she was found to be positive after her death.' The Kamrup (Metro) district administration has declared two hostels and areas around the Guwahati Medical College Hospital, the employers' colony near the B Barooah Cancer Institute where the girl lived with her grandmother and certain areas in Kharghuli and Chandmari as containment zones.

One of COVID-19 case in Guwahati is a post-graduate student of the medicine department of Guwahati Medical College Hospital, he said.

GMCH has been closed for new patients and 386 people, including its Superintendent Dr R Talukdar, doctors, students and several grade three and four workers, have been quarantined, Sarma said.

Their swab tests have been conducted and the results were expected by late Friday night. The medical student was also engaged in the screening of COVID-19 patients from May 4, the minister said.

A 55-year-old woman from Kharghuli Hills area of Guwahati has tested positive and admitted to GMCH. Her family members have also been quarantined.

The fourth person to test positive in Guwahati had returned from West Bengal on May 6 along with two others in a personal vehicle. The person has been admitted to Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital while the other two have tested negative, Sarma said.

'This is the second case with travel history to West Bengal and we have asked the police department not to issue passes to those originating their journey from this state, except in humanitarian cases,' the minister said.

Sarma said that three positive cases in Guwahati with no travel or contact history indicates that traces of the novel coronavirus may be prevalent in the city.

'People should, however, not panic but strictly follow the guidelines and report to doctors in case they have influenza-like illness (ILI) and diarrhoea,' he said. PTI DG RG NSD NSD