SHILLONG, April 15 - One person has died and six others have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Meghalaya capital in the past 48 hours. The person who tested positive with novel coronavirus was a doctor and ran a private hospital here.
He was in the ICU of the hospital for the past 24 hours and passed away this morning. The deceased has another hospital at Nongpoh in Ri-Bhoi district. Authorities have sealed both the hospitals.
In a series of tweets Chief Minister Conrad Sangma expressing his condolence to the family of the deceased said that six members and helpers from that family have tested positive with the virus. Test samples of six others have been sent for retest.
As of now 185 people � 161 from East Khasi Hills district and 24 from Nongpoh � with contact history with the hospitals have been identified. Samples of these people were sent to the NEIGRIHMS here and the medical college hospitals in Guwahati and Barpeta.
Till the filing of this report, test results of 118 people were out, of which six have been found positive, while six have been sent for a retest and the rest negative.
On the other hand, a patient admitted at the same private hospital ran by deceased allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the window into a stream below. The Chief Minister has, however, ruled out any connection of the patient�s death with COVID-19.
The authorities clamped curfew in the Shillong agglomerate for 48 hours after the news of the first COVID-19 positive report surfaced on Monday evening.
The district authorities on its own are tracing contacts of the people who visited the hospital since March 22. They are screening through the data to identify those who have visited the hospital during the period.
People on their own have also contacted the helpline numbers to inform about their visit to the hospital. There are also reports that people, who have visited the hospital, queued up at the Shillong Civil Hospital from 3 pm on Tuesday till midnight to get themselves tested.
Meanwhile, the cremation of the first COVID-19 victim of Meghalaya has been stalled following objection by some people in the vicinity of the Jhalupara cremation ground here for fear of virus spread.
Sources said the body was taken for cremation in the afternoon, but some people in the locality objected arguing that the crematorium is not prepared to handle a COVID-19 victim.
The district authorities tried to persuade, but till the filing of this report, there has been a stalemate. Some people argued that the cremation ground staff did not have the requisite safety gears to handle such a victim. Moreover, the medical staff were not wearing protective gear while handling the body, sources said.