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70 Covid-19 cases reported in Raj Bhavan

By Rituraj Borthakur

GUWAHATI, July 19 - Detection of 24 fresh COVID-19 cases at Raj Bhavan on Sunday despite strict containment measures for more than a fortnight has stunned many. The total number of positive cases at the high security complex at Kharguli hills now stands at 70.

Initially, it began from two security men who tested positive, after which samples of around 200 staff, including the Governor, were taken. Two more employees - the generator operator and a computer assistant tested positive later. Following the development, Raj Bhavan was declared a containment zone on July 4.

But despite the containment measures, positive cases continued to surface there.

Fifty four families reside inside the complex which also houses a company of paramilitary, special branch men besides the staff of the Governor�s secretariat.

By July 6, the number of positive cases rose to 12, which included four CRPF men, the Governor�s doctor and his laundry man who was allegedly doing work even after giving his samples for test on July 1. Ten days later, IAS officer SS Meenakshi Sundaram, who is the Commissioner & Secretary to the Governor also tested positive.

By then, around 45 staff and security personnel of the Raj Bhavan had tested positive.

As officials were preparing to resume work at the Governor�s secretariat, the Health Department launched a fresh testing drive at Raj Bhavan as a precautionary measure, initially with rapid antigen detection kits that detected a fresh positive case. Three more cases emerged later, and another round of RT-PCR tests were conducted, which found 24 more positive cases today. Test results of some are awaited.

�Some of the persons who tested positive today had never moved out of their residences since July 2. It is strange as to how they got infected,� one of the employees exclaimed.

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