Hunt for ‘patient zero’ in Meghalaya
There is no clear-cut answer as to who is the Covid-19 “patient zero” in Meghalaya after renowned physician Dr John L. Sailo Ryntathiang, the first coronavirus positive patient, succumbed to the deadly virus.
Known as the index case, “patient zero” refers to the first individual infected in an outbreak who later spread the disease among others.
Founder of Bethany Hospital Shillong, Dr Sailo, who died on April 15, was the first Covid-19 patient who tested positive on April 13.
It was suspected that Dr Sailo contracted the virus through a carrier, supposedly, the “patient zero,” but who?
Since April 13, the people of Meghalaya are still in the dark.
Meghalaya director of health services (MI), Aman War, said a team of medical experts had been formed to undertake an epidemiological study to find out the “patient zero”.
“The team has already started tracking down patient zero,” War said.
Asked how long it would take, War said that this might take time as it involves various procedures and analysis to be able to trace “patient zero”.
At present, Meghalaya recorded 14 Covid-19 positive cases, of which 12 have recovered, one patient is still active and one has died.
Dr War said that except one who is still in a government-run quarantine centre at Mawdiangdiang, the other 11 who recovered had been released from the quarantine centres.
The lone active patient from Tura in West Garo Hills district tested Covid-19 positive on May 19, after returning from Chennai to the state.
Testing of samples collected from persons, especially returnees, is continuing in Shillong and Tura.
In Shillong, the testing capacity has been increased to 400 tests per day at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS).