Assam reported its first confirmed case unrelated to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, authorities said on Saturday. The patient lives in an upmarket residential complex in the heart of Guwahati and tested positive on Friday night. As of Saturday afternoon, the state has reported 25 cases in all, 24 of which are connected to the Delhi event, including the wife of an attendee who tested positive.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in a press briefing in Guwahati on Saturday, said that the patient returned from Delhi to Guwahati on March 1. Sarma explained that the patient testing positive on April 4, more than a month after he returned to the state, implies that he might have contracted the infection in Guwahati itself. However, the family confirmed to the authorities that the patient did come in contact with a few persons from Delhi and Kolkata during the last one month.
“A total of 111 persons who have come in contact with him in the last one month or so have been identified and quarantined. Their samples are being tested,” Sarma said. Results are expected by Sunday night.
The person is asthmatic and has underlying health conditions. However, he is stable now, Sarma confirmed.
Healthy vegetarian and non-vegetarian lunch was served in a timely manner in the various #quarantine centres in Assam.
Quarantine should not be feared nor stigmatized. @PMOIndia@sarbanandsonwal @himantabiswa #FightAgainstCOVID19 #FightCoronaTogether pic.twitter.com/TpDKFJzuIB
— Pijush Hazarika (@Pijush_hazarika) April 4, 2020
Following the detection of the case, the apartment complex — with 150 flats occupied flats — has been sealed from 10 am April 4, under the “Assam COVID-19 Regulations, 2020.” For the next fortnight, entry and exit into the premises will be prohibited, barring those for medical emergencies. Arrangements for essentials will be made following all safety norms in consultation with the district administration, Sarma said.
The state government also announced that full salaries of government employees for the month of March will be released, although employees are requested to help needy families known to them. Sarma tweeted, “While there was a discussion on possible deductions, we’ve decide to release full salary of Assam Govt employees for March. However, my humble request that in view of the lockdown, each one of you take care of at least 5 needy families. That will be best Bihu gift you can give.” Assam celebrates the Bohag Bihu festival, which marks the Assamese new year, in mid-April.
Assam has tested 1529 samples till date. Of them, 1308 are negative, 25 positive and the results of 196 are awaited. Among the total tested, 812 are connected to the Nizamuddin event: of them, 24 tested positive, 636 are negative (as of now) and results are awaited for 152.
The Northeast has now reported 29 cases: 25 in Assam, two in Manipur, and one each in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
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