With the state witnessing highest single day spike, Health Minister call the situation ‘alarming’

Staff Reporter

SHILLONG, July 24: Meghalaya reported the highest single day spike of 52 Coronavirus cases on Friday, the total of COVID-19 positive cases in the state stand at 587 including 495 active cases.

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander L. Hek said the new cases detected include  47 from East Khasi Hills District – out of which 9 are BSF personnel, 7 armed forces personnel and 31 civilians – 3 from West Jaintia Hills and 2 from East Jaintia Hills.

He informed that the death toll has increased to 5, after a 67-year-old woman identified as Kanchan Singh, who had tested positive for COVID-19, succumbed to the virulent virus on Thursday evening at North East Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS).

He said a total of 87 patients have so far recovered from the infection. 

Shillong, the district headquarters of East Khasi Hills as well as Meghalaya’s state Capital, is the worst hit COVID-19 district, as it accounts for 419 out of the 495 active cases in the state. The BSF has 287 active cases.

In other districts, the numbers are Ri-Bhoi-41, East Jaintia Hills-4, West Jaintia Hills-8, West Garo Hills-15, South West Garo Hills-2, East Garo Hills-1 and North Garo Hills-1.

Hek also termed the situation in the state as ‘alarming’ with sudden spurt of active cases.

“We are ready to deal with the spike in cases and we have to face it,” Hek said, even as he appealed to the citizens to avoid venturing out of their homes unnecessarily.

On the other hand, Director of Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War informed that 3 doctors to have tested positive for the virus, which includes a senior Anaesthesiologist at Shillong Civil Hospital, a doctor from the orthopaedic ward in NEIGRIHMS and a doctor from Nazareth hospital.

He said the others who contracted the infection include an attendant (a daughter) of the elderly woman, who passed away at NEIGRIHMS, 3 high risk contacts of the patients, who attended the wedding at Greenwood Resort, 2 from Bethany Hospital, 4 from Robert hospital, 11 returnees and others.

Asked, Dr. War said that the department is on the job to conduct contact tracing and to find out from where the elderly victim had contracted the disease.

“With the lockdown being re-imposed in the state capital, we are hopeful that we will be able to contain the spread,” he said.

To a query, Dr. War said that 10 more localities have been declared as containment areas after detection of new positive cases. The areas under containment include Mawbah, Jhalupara, Mawlai Umshing, Mawlai Umjaiur, Golflink Khlieh Shnong, Upper Mawprem, Nongrah, Nongrim Hills, Lachumiere and Laitumkhrah Nazareth. 

As on Friday, 32,401 swab samples have been sent for testing out of which 31,085 tested negative while outcome of 730 is still awaited. There are 23,706 entrants to the state from outside till date.