SHILLONG, April 14: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said the health authorities have established 2,000 contacts of the 69-year-old doctor of Bethany Hospital here who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The senior doctor has no travel history except that his son-in-law, who is a pilot, had been to COVID-19 infected countries, and had returned home on March 22.
The doctor tested COVID-19 positive on Monday
"We have established 2,000 contacts approximately. We have also established about 200 primary contacts including his immediate family members and those who had come in close contact with the patient," the chief minister told journalists here.
He said the state health authorities have conducted 90 tests and are waiting for results.
"We will do more tests," he said.
The COVID-19 infected person is under category C and is not on life support which is category D, the chief minister said.
The state government has also instructed Bethany Hospital to shut both its branches here in the state capital and in Nongpoh in Ri-Bhoi district - and all staff are to mandatorily stay under quarantine.
Asked how the doctor got infected, the chief minister said his son-in-law had been to some of the infected countries.
"Most likely, the story of the travel history and the 14-day quarantine period could be the reason. We are investigating," he said.
A senior Health official said the authorities are investigating how the pilot son-in-law entered the state and whether he jumped quarantine and came in contact with the family during his stay.
The pilot, however, did not show any symptoms of coronavirus and was asymptomatic case, the official said.
The chief minister said the state cabinet has decided to revert to its earlier lockdown/curfew protocols wherein public vehicles are barred from plying on the roads and there will be no inter-district movements except for essential commodities.
The East Khasi Hills district authorities have imposed 48-hour curfew beginning from 6 am of Tuesday in the state capital here.
The entire city came to a complete halt and there were no vehicles on the road except for those of essential services as listed by the state government.
All shops were closed and most residents locked themselves up in their homes to prevent the spread of the virus, a senior district official said.
Wine shops which were opened for a day on Monday were ordered to be shut in East Khasi Hills district in view of the COVID-19 development.
Other districts have also issued similar instructions in view of the extended lockdown in the country and in the state, an excise department official said.
Inter-state borders with Assam and international border with Bangladesh will continue to be sealed to contain the spread of the disease, he said.
East Khasi Hills district authorities said the state capital has now been identified as a containment zone for COVID-19 and movements in and out of the zone is shut.
The police have set up 5 points of checking to prevent any such movement into the state capital or outside the state capital except for essential commodities, the official said. - PTI