Community spread feared as QC food supplier tests positive

IMPHAL/KAKCHING, 26th Jun: As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the state, fear of community transmission of the contagious disease emerged after a man, who supplies food to quarantine centres in Thoubal district, was tested positive for Covid-19 infection on Friday.
Meanwhile, 19 fresh cases were detected in the last 24 hours and 39 people were discharged after getting negative test results, thus taking the tally to 1075 total confirmed cases, 393 discharged cases and 682 active cases.
Of the 19 fresh cases (10 men and nine women) detected in the last 24 hours, nine are from Thoubal district, five from Ukhrul, three from Churachandpur and one each from Kamjong and Senapati district.
According to report from common control room, all the 19 fresh cases are returnees from other states. However, our Thoubal district correspondent reported that eight of the nine fresh cases of Thoubal district are returnees from other states while one is a volunteer of a local committee who supplies food to community quarantine centres. A four years old girl was also among the eight returnees who tested positive.
The food supplier is a volunteer of Thoubal Kendra Covid 19 Aid Committee, which shoulders the responsibility of supplying food to the community quarantine centres set up in Thoubal assembly constituency. He is also said to be a key person of the committee.
Sources said that the person never had close contact with any of the inmates. All the time, he keeps the foods on the table at the gate of the quarantine centres.
On the other hand, DC Thoubal Nongmaithem Bandana told The People’s Chronicle that the case was detected during a random test of volunteers so as to make sure that they do not get infected by the virus. As soon as the result was received, around 30 people including his family members and close contacts have been kept at a community quarantine centre. Efforts are on to collect their samples for testing, she said.
As per contact tracing report, the person exercised extensive precautionary measures and did not mingled with the local people and even in his family. Most of the time, the volunteers of the committee stay in a separate centre, the DC said and added that maximum steps have been taken up to prevent community spread. She also appealed to public not to panic.
Among the 39 people who were discharged 17 are from Covid Care Centre Meitram, 14 from JNIMS and eight from RIMS. District wise figure of discharged cases of Friday is 15 from Kangpokpi, eight from Tamenglong, seven from Ukhrul, and three each from Imphal West, Kakching and Pherzawl districts. With 393 patients out of total 1075 cases discharged so far, the recovery rate stands at 36.55 indicating some improvement. Regarding a video clip circulating on social media showing disposed PPE suits in a garbage dump, the statement of CCR informed that health department follows strict protocols for disposal of PPE and other biomedical wastes utilised by Covid treatment hospitals and testing laboratories among others. Nowadays, PPEs and other protective items are used by many private/non-governmental facilities also.
The statement then advised all personnel and facilities using PPEs to ensure that protocols of ministry of health and family welfare and central board of pollution control are strictly adhered.
Nine patients are undergoing treatment at Covid Care Centre Churachandpur, four at District hospital Bishnupur, 21 at TK Woodland Resort, 50 at district quarantine centres, 51 at RIMS, 64 at Covid Care Centre located at Tamenglong Higher Secondary School, 159 at JNIMS, and 323 at Covid Care Centre Meitram.
In the last 24 hours, 1262 tests were conducted at the two VRDLs at RIMS and JNIMS, and total number of tests conducted so far is 46,515. Currently, 11,199 persons are kept in different quarantine centres. As many as 753 truckers and 217 commuters including 116 flight passengers were screened in the last 24 hours at different entry points into the state.
Meanwhile, an Investigation Committee has been constituted to look into the facts and circumstances of health staff getting infected in the Covid-19 isolation ward, Bishnupur District Hospital.
The committee shall analyse the test results of family members of infected health workers and those who had close contacts with the infected persons during the previous 14 days. The committee will also inspect the hospital equipment, investigate the work environment, check the infection control practices by comparing with the standard SOP and any other issues that the committee feels relevant to arrive at a hypothesis and prove it, conveyed Bishnupur CMO Dr L Gojendra Singh in an office memorandum.
The committee will seek statements from the staff who have worked in the Covid-19 isolation ward and the staff may submit their written statement through Whatsapp to any or all the members within 10 days. The committee shall recommend actions to be taken to prevent such infections in future.
The said committee will be headed by Bishnupur IDSP DSO Dr L Raichandra Singh as convener while Bishnupur District Hospital MS Dr N Bino Singh, Bishnupur CMO Dr H Danny Singh, Bishnupur IDSP DSU district epidemiologist Dr RK Deblakshmi and microbiologist Dr Shakti Laishram will be the members, added the memorandum.
As a part of the effort to provide adequate care to infected persons, the erstwhile Bishnupur District Headquarters office located near Loukoipat area has been identified as the possible site for setting up a Covid Care Centre of the district.
It is said that the building has all the required facilities for converting into a 100-bedded hospital and there is enough supply of power and water in the area as well. The only thing needed to be supplied at the office building is mattresses, staffers of the centre and security arrangement. The plan was divulged by a combined team of district administration, health officials and local bodies of the district including Bishnupur Deputy Commissioner, Bishnupur Municipal Council chairman, Bishnupur Chief Medical Officer, Bishnupur District Hospital medical superintendent, Apunba Meira Paibi Lup and Covid-19 Relief Committee, Bishnupur district Core Committee members who visited the site to assess the condition.

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