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Meghalaya virus death toll climbs to four

By Staff Correspondent

SHILLONG, July 19 - Two COVID-19 patients succumbed to the disease at the NEIGRIHMS here today, taking the death toll in the State to four.

The number of active cases in the State also rose to 397 with 32 more persons testing positive for COVID-19.

According to health officials, one of the deceased was a BSF personnel and the other was an officer of the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

The BSF personnel, a type II diabetic patient, was tested positive on July 4.

Health officials informed that he was initially treated at the BSF composite hospital and later shifted to the Shillong Civil Hospital and then to the NEIGRIHMS when his condition worsened.

He, however, did not recover and finally passed away today.

On the other hand, the GSI officer had returned from Kolkata and was under quarantine when he complained of abdominal pain. He was diagnosed with acute �Calculus Cholecystitis�. He was admitted to the NEIGRIHMS on July 5 where he tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said.

On July 16 and 17 he tested negative for COVID-19, but developed respiratory problems and suffered a cardiac arrest. Despite best efforts by the doctors, he could not be saved, officials added. The deceased was from Ri-Bhoi district.

Meanwhile, Director of Health Services Aman War informed that 32 new COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Of these 32 new cases, 29 are BSF personnel and two civilians. All the BSF personnel are from East Khasi Hills.

One case has also been reported from Khanapara in Ri-Bhoi district.

There is a possibility that Mawpat and Rynjah areas could be declared as containment zones. The BSF headquarters are located in these two areas, which witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases.

�At the end, the State Government has to decide whether to declare these areas as containment zones,� War said.

A PTI report from Shillong adds: The Meghalaya government has declared four localities in Ri-Bhoi district bordering Assam as containment zones to prevent the spread of COVID-19, officials said on Sunday.

Ri-Bhoi district magistrate RM Kurbah issued the order on Saturday night based on the recommendation of the Health department, the official said.

The areas declared as containment zone include 13th Mile Tamulikuchi, Byrnihat, Baridua till Khanapara with effect from July 19 to July 26.

�The order was issued in view of the rise in detection of COVID-19 positive patients... who are inhabitants of 13th Mile Tamulikuchi, Byrnihat, Baridua and Khanapara area,� the official said.

The order prohibits movements within the containment zone and inhabitants can move only in case of medical emergencies or for essential goods and services.

The Director of Health Services said the situation in areas from Byrnihat to Khanapara is �very alarming�.

�Although there is no community spread in the State, the situation in these areas bordering Assam is quite alarming,� Dr War told reporters.

�We are still doing contact tracing and if the virus is from Guwahati, we are a bit in trouble as it very virulent and we hope that we would be able to contain the spread,� he said.

Meanwhile, night curfew imposed in the State capital here has been extended till July 27. East Khasi Hills district authorities said the night curfew will be in force from 9 pm to 5 am.

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