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Don't panic, but be alert: Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

After Silchar and Guwahati, each reporting four corona positive cases on Thursday, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 May 2020 3:54 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: After Silchar and Guwahati, each reporting four corona positive cases on Thursday, the State Health and Family Welfare department is worried even though it says that "the public shouldn't panic, but remain alert".

Talking to the media here on Friday State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "One of the three testing corona positive in Guwahati is a GMCH doctor, Dr Lithikesh. As many as 384 people, including GMCH superintendant Dr Ramen Talukdar, Prof (Dr) Basanta Hazarika, junior doctors, nurses and other staff members have been quarantined. Their samples have been collected and sent for test. Since Dr Lithikesh is staying in Hostel No 1 and he frequented Hostel No 5, these two hostels have been declared containment zones. Admission of fresh patients has been banned in the GMCH for the next three days for proper sanitization. The swab samples of around 1,500 people, including 700 patients and their attendants, have to be collected."

When asked if the morale of doctors and nurses in the GMCH is down after Dr. Lithikesh testing corona positive, the Minister said, "The morale of doctors and nurses are still high. I went to the GMCH today and held talks with them. Dr Lithikesh has been feeling uneasy since April 27, but was doing his duty. When he was tested yesterday, his infection came to light. The public shouldn't panic, but remain alert.

"Four corona positive cases have been detected in Guwahati, and three of them have no travel history. One of the four, Debraj Acharya, a company worker, had gone to Medinipur in West Bengal and came back recently along with two others. He and his two colleagues came straight to the Sarusajai quarantine centre. He has tested positive, but his colleagues haven't. We've imposed some restrictions on the entry of people to the State from West Bengal, barring cases that have humanitarian grounds.

"We feel sad that 16-year-old girl Dipika had to die without her infection being diagnosed. She, hailing from Lokhara in the city, was staying with her grandmother at a colony of B Barooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati for the past few days. She had a complaint of pain in a leg. She consulted the ESIC doctor at Beltola, but got no relief. She then consulted a general doctor of B Barooah Cancer Institute, but she died. When the GMCH came to know of her death, it collected her swab, tested it and found corona positive. The cancer institute, the colony where Dipika's grandmother is staying and the ESIC Hospital at Beltola have been declared containment zones.

"Barada Das, an aged woman of Kharguli had complaint of cold and cough. She went to Amiyo Nagar near Anuradha Cinema where her daughter is staying. From there she went to Kharguli again two days back, and then got admitted to the MMCH. On suspicion, the MMCH authorities sent her and her husband to the GMCH for quarantine. She tested positive during institutional quarantine."

On three of the persons without any travel history like Dipika testing corona positive in Guwahati, the Minister said, "Such an incident makes it amply clear that maybe, there're some asymptomatic carriers of the virus in Guwahati. In such a situation I appeal to all (1) to consult doctors as and when they have cough and cold and diarrhoea, (2) scrupulously follow the lockdown rules and (3) not to allow anyone below 12 years of age and above 65 years of age to go out."

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