Monday, 30th October 2017

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Assam isolates 127 ‘contacts’ of 76-year-old US tourist diagnosed with coronavirus in Bhutan

Not a single coronavirus case has been confirmed in Assam

By Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati
  • Published 8.03.20, 2:12 AM
  • Updated 8.03.20, 2:12 AM
  • 2 mins read
“We have identified all hotels, resorts and the cruise (ship) where the affected US tourist had stayed,” minister of state for health Pijush Hazarika said. (AP photo)

The Assam government has identified 127 persons in the state and put them under home isolation by tracing the “contacts” of a 76-year-old US tourist diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Bhutan.

Contact-tracing is defined as the identification and follow-up of persons who may have come into contact with a person infected with a virus. The state government also said there is not a single confirmed cases in Assam but sounded a high alert to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus while directing all district administrations and health department officials to take all preventive measure to combat the virus.

Assam minister of state for health Pijush Hazarika told a news meet on Saturday that there is no need to panic, as steps have been taken for the past few months to avoid spread of coronavirus in the state.

The press conference was also attended by Anurag Goel, commissioner and secretary in the health and family welfare department, and Dr Lakshmanan S, mission director of National Health Mission (NHM), Assam.

Goel said there are isolation beds for coronavirus patients infected in Assam — nine at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and two isolated beds in each district hospital.

“Isolation wards have been prepared in all six medical colleges across the state and 600 beds earmarked in case of mass quarantine. All medical staff across the state are well-equipped with masks, gloves and other requirements and there is no shortage of personal protective equipment for health workers,” Goel said.

The state government has taken preventive measures at all the land ports bordering Bhutan and Bangladesh and has even deployed medical teams in these areas and screened every person coming from neighbouring countries. “Of 585 passengers across six airports in the state, 112 have come from infected places like China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Dubai. Seven have developed fever but test reports of six persons are negative. All have been advised home isolation,” Hazarika said. He urged private hospitals in the state not to turn back patients with symptoms of coronavirus. Testing will be free at GMCH.

He also advised the people not to participate in mass gatherings and avoid Holi celebrations.

Lakshmanan said GMCH has the only laboratory in the region for sample-testing for coronavirus. A new laboratory will be set up at Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh, within next few days.

Hazarika said: “We have identified all hotels, resorts and the particular cruise where the affected US tourist hadstayed.”

A senior official of cruise ship MV Mahabahu said, “The medical teams from the state government have come on-board and checked the ship and found it to be coronavirus- free. All crew members and guests are declared free of the infection”. The second floor of Radisson Blu Hotel here where he had stayed for a night has been sealed.