Random testing in areas surrounding BSF headquarters in Shillong, 55 new cases detected in Meghalaya

Shillong July 10: With the surge of active cases, the State government has declared the BSF Meghalaya Frontier headquarters at Umpling as a containment zone and has decided to conduct random testings in Umpling, Nongmensong, Mawpat and Rynjah surrounding the BSF headquarters.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek said 55 new positive cases were detected which include 52 BSF troopers from Shillong and Tura, one Meghalaya police constable and two civilians from Baridua area in Ri Bhoi district.

Hek said that the constable tested positive for the infection at his native Saipung in East Jaiñtia Hills district on arrival from Tura in West Garo Hills region.

With the spike, the total active COVID-19 infection graph has climbed up to 179 and 45 of them have recovered and two deaths till date.

“The situation is very grim and so from last night the State government has declared BSF headquarters here as a containment zone. Moreover, we will be conducting the random test immediately,” Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong told journalists on Friday.

Tynsong said that the BSF authority has agreed not to allow its troopers to return to the State immediately following the surge of COVID-19 cases.

“We have directed to conduct random testing from Saturday in Umpling, Nongmensong, Mawpat and Rynjah villages to ensure there is no community transmission,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

On the other hand, the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) has temporarily shut down its Out Patient Department and emergency services after an inadvertent exposure to COVID-19 in the hospital on Thursday.

The orthopedics ward (former male surgical ward, ground floor), Radiology department, Cardiology OPD, ECG Lab, Anesthesia OPD and PAC area besides ICTC Lab area of the hospital has been declared as containment for COVID-19.

The patient, a resident BSF headquarters, was tested for COVID-19 on July 4, but the result was negative.

However, on July 9 after the patient developed symptoms of COVID-19, his samples were tested again and the result was positive.

“The patient has had an extensive contact footprint in the hospital. Due to this the hospital needs to be decontaminated and internal contact tracing is to be undertaken,” NEIGRIHMS Director, Dr. P. Bhattacharyya said.

“We have urged the NEIGRIHMS authorities to speed up the process for the benefit of the people from the State and other parts of Northeast who need medical treatment,” Tynsong said.

NEIGRIHMS is the nodal hospital for testing of swab samples for COVID-19 in Meghalaya.