Meghalaya's Urban Affairs Minister Sniwbhalang Dhar has tested positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing home isolation, an official said on Thursday. Dhar is the third minister in the state to have contracted the disease. Earlier, Health Minister AL Hek and Power Minister James PK Sangma were diagnosed with the infection.
Sangma had recovered from the disease, while Hek is still under home isolation, Health Services director Aman War said. "The urban affairs minister has no travel history in the recent past and was asymptomatic when he was diagnosed with the infection two days back. Contact tracing is on to identify people who came to meet him recently," he said.
Meanwhile, 77 new cases took the COVID-19 tally in the northeastern state to 9,303, War said. The death toll rose to 87 after two patients succumbed to the disease at a city hospital during the day, he said.
Altogether, 130 COVID-19 patients were cured and discharged from various hospitals on Thursday, taking the total number of recoveries to 7,890, he said. The new cases include 40 from East Khasi, 15 West Garo, nine from East Garo, six from Ri Bhoi, two each from East Jaintia and West Jaintia and one each from South Garo, South West Garo and South West Khasi hills districts.
Meghalaya now has 1,326 active cases. East Khasi Hills district has reported the maximum number of coronavirus cases at 719, including 20 security personnel, followed by West Garo Hills at 180 and Ri Bhoi at 163.
"Till date, swab samples of 2,00,391 people have been tested, of which 1,91,088 were found negative," the senior official said.