Mizoram’s first and only COVID-19 patient has been released from the Zoram Medical College (ZMC) near Aizawl Saturday after a 45-day fight with the disease, authorities said.
While the patient, a 50-year-old pastor who had travelled to Amsterdam, tested negative on April 27, and subsequently four times the following week, authorities decided to keep him in the hospital till Saturday. The patient’s samples were sent to be tested at Silchar Medical College in Assam.
“We kept him longer for observation,” said Mizoram health minister R Lalthangliana, “He was on ventilator for very long and his condition was not very good, but slowly he improved. Now he is fully recovered.”
The pastor had returned to Mizoram on March 16, and tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 24.
This brings Mizoram’s active case status to zero, but authorities are wary of declaring the state as ‘COVID-free’. “While it is true that there are no active cases, we must remember that there are many people who have come into the state and are currently in quarantine and being tested,” said Lalthangliana, “So we do not want to say things like the state is free of COVID-19.”
“We can’t be sure and as the infection might strike anyone at any time, there is no point in celebrating so much,” added State Nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma. “Rather, we should gear ourselves with preventive measures.”
Dr Lalmalsawma added that about a thousand people have come back to the state and have been put in institutional quarantine for 14 days. “These are mostly people from the neighbouring Northeastern states,” he said.
Currently, there are 1437 people in quarantine facilities across the state.
On Saturday, following his discharge, the patient was welcomed by people who burst into applause along the roads of Aizawl. “He will be following strict home quarantine for the next two weeks and undergo medical check up again,” said Dr Lalmalsawma.