HAILAKANDI, April 10 - The Northeast India recorded the first COVID-19 death on Friday as one of the 29 patients from Hailakandi, Faijul Haque Barbhuiya (65) died early this morning at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) around 1.55 am following complications arising out of the dreaded virus.
Of the 29 COVID-19 positive cases reported so far, including Barbhuiya, 28 have Delhi�s Nizamuddin Markaz connection.
Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted at 2 am that Barbhuiya has expired at SMCH due to complication of COVID-19 infection.
Barbhuiya, resident of Barjurai village of Hailakandi district, was admitted in the Silchar Medical College and Hospital on April 7 night after his swab tested COVID-19 positive. Barbhuiya returned to Hailakandi on March 18 after performing Umrah Haj in Saudi Arabia. He had also visited the Markaz at Nizamuddin in Delhi. He later developed pneumonia and had to be shifted to the ICU and put on ventilator in the afternoon on Thursday.
SMCH authorities followed the strictest norms of decontamination procedures before handing over the body to their Hailakandi health counterpart. The body, wrapped in an airtight three-layered body bag, was carried by the health personnel to Hailakandi in an ambulance in the wee hours on Friday.
Strictly conforming to the guidelines issued by the Government of India regarding disposing of remains of COVID-19 victims, the district administration performed his last rites as per Islamic burial practices at a secluded place around 10 km from the densely populated Hailakandi town. Attended by a few relatives and friends while maintaining social distancing, his last rites were performed by an imam, as his mortal remains, shrouded in a white piece of cloth, was lowered in a grave dug 12-feet deep, just moments after the janaza prayer.
Persons, who handled the corpse wearing personal protective equipment, went through the proper sanitization process.
Prior to his last rites, the district administration informed the family members of Barbhuiya, who are under quarantine in a centre, about his passing away. Three of the five family members of the family have tested negative, while results of two others are awaited, official sources said.
Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli said, �It is reiterated that all forms of precautions have been taken to ensure safety of all personnel involved. There is no reason to fear further contamination as we have followed all special operations procedures. We assure you we have done our best.�
Containment zone along with buffer zone has been clearly demarcated around a one-km radius of Borjurai village where the deceased COVID-19 victim resided, to prevent further spread of the virus. Entry of all vehicles, except those in emergency and essential services, was prohibited.
Warning against the rumour mongers, Jalli said, �Rumour mongering, inducing fear/exciting activities will not be allowed.