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Bethany Hospital reopens after 40 days

Clinic had been under lockdown following death of founder who had tested Covid positive
Bethany Hospital
Bethany Hospital

Our Correspondent   |   Shillong   |   Published 23.05.20, 07:07 PM

Bethany Hospital here reopened its doors on Saturday, more than a month after it was shut down, following the detection of the first Covid-19 case in Meghalaya.

Chief minister Conrad K. Sangma and health officials visited the hospital in the presence of the family members of its founder. Hospital founder Dr John L. Sailo Ryntathiang passed away on April 15, just two days after he was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.


Since then, the hospital was under lockdown, while patients were transferred to other hospitals and staff put under quarantine.

“I thank the entire Bethany Hospital team who responded to the pressure in a positive and cooperative manner. I also thank the network and the community who supported the government and the hospital during the time,” Conrad said, while addressing family members and staff. He said the biggest tribute to Dr Sailo would be for the team to continue the good work and fulfil his vision for the people.

In a statement, hospital spokesperson Dr K. Sanmiet said following an inspection by the office of the district health & medical officer, Shillong Municipal Board, Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board, and the subsequent clearance by the government, Bethany hospital was reopened.

“We have missed seeing our patients and we are excited to inform the hospital will be fully operational after a 40-day shutdown. Even before this announcement, we have been working on a reopening plan to ensure the safety of both patients and staff. The hospital has been fully sanitised as per government guidelines,” he said.

He said the hospital has re-instituted its policies and polished its ways of working to prevent viral transmission. He said none of the hospital staff had tested positive for Covid-19.

“As we move to a new normal, be assured that we will do our best to continuously deliver quality patient care and hopefully, this reopening will serve as a beacon of hope for the rest of our staff, patrons and well-wishers,” he added.

Return of the stranded

More than 9,000 stranded citizens have returned to the state so far, while another 6,500 have indicated their willingness to come back, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said on Saturday. Another 370 people will be arriving soon from Telangana and Haryana by special trains, he added.

Trains from Jaipur and Delhi, carrying stranded citizens, will depart on May 26 and 27. Those stranded in Delhi can register by calling 01123014341, 01123014451 and 9968262299.

For those stranded in Maharashtra, Goa and other states, Tynsong said talks are being held for arrangement of special trains.

He said that from next week, the Umroi airport, connecting with Calcutta, will reopen following the Centre’s decision to allow resumption of flights.

On demands to reopen the markets at Iewduh and Khyndailad, he said the chief secretary and East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner will work out the modalities. He said a final decision will be taken on Monday.

Health minister A.L. Hek said samples from 4,538 people have been tested so far, of which 4,224 have tested negative and results of 300 are awaited.

While there have been 14 positive cases, Meghalaya currently has only one active case in West Garo Hills. Twelve patients have fully recovered, while one passed away.

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