Virus at health minister’s home; doctors, RIMS staff test positive
IMPHAL, 26th Jul: The Covid-19 pandemic has found its way to the home of state’s health minister as three of his family members tested positive while the chief minister continued to face the Covid threat after 11 out of 85 CISF personnel, who came from the national capital for the CM’s security escort tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.
As per source, a cousin of health minister L Jayantakumar had an accident while riding a bicycle and was rushed to Shija Hospital. As his condition required surgery, a Covid test was conducted at Babina Diagnostic Centre and the result came positive. In the contact tracing process taken up under the initiative of health minister, two more family members were tested positive. However, test results for the minister and other family members turned negative.
The patient has been shifted to RIMS hospital and the floor of Shija hospital in which the patient was undergoing treatment has been sealed. Necessary process of contact tracing and quarantine has been initiated. Routine and emergency OPD as well as operation will continue as usual. However, all emergency patients visiting the hospital will be required to undergo mandatory testing for Covid-19, hospital source informed.
In a message to the public, the health minister said, “The COVID-19 virus is invisible, contagious and unpredictable. We don’t know who will be the next target. The only available vaccine right now is precaution. Therefore, we, as an individual and the people of the state, need to follow and abide by the SOPs and the guidelines provided by the health department. There is nothing to panic or be anxious. With full cooperation, understanding and coordination, we can unitedly fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Stay home, wear mask, maintain physical distance.”
Areas around the minister’s Pishumthong residence as well as part of Langjing headquarters of CRPF M&N Sector have been declared as containment zones.
On the other hand, the 11 CISF personnel were tested positive at RIMS VRDL on Sunday. They are among 85 personnel, who were recently sent to the state for giving security cover to chief minister N Biren and newly elected Rajya Sabha MP Sanajaoba. Of them, 65 were staying at a quarantine centre set up at Vale Academy and 20 at an unoccupied barrack of CISF in Imphal Airport. Their samples were collected and test initiated from Saturday onwards.
Samples of 16 more personnel will be tested on Monday.
According to a statement of Covid-19 Common Control Room, 59 new cases (43 male & 16 female) were detected in the last 24 hours at RIMS VRDL (58) and Babina Diagnostics Lab (1). They belong to the districts of Imphal West (37), Kakching (5), Tamenglong (3), and Thoubal (14). Except for five from Thoubal and one from Imphal West, all are returnees from other states. They are being shifted to the Covid care facilities. All necessary medical precautionary measures like containment and contact tracing are in place, the statement added. It also informed that one person from CCC Thoubal was discharged in the past 24 hours after his test sample returned negative during RT PCR test. Cumulative number of positive cases has reached 2235 while numbers of active and recovered cases are 714 and 1521 respectively.
Three staff of RIMS hospital – a nurse, a lab technician and another staff – were also tested positive on Sunday. One of them is from Lamphel CP quarter, one from Ghari and the other from Naoremthong. Subsequent to the detection, RIMS authority has informed that the hospital will be shut down with immediate effect till Wednesday. However, flu clinic near the isolation ward and laboratory services of VRDL and MDRU RIMS will continue to function as usual, informed a statement issued by RIMS MS professor Ch Arunkumar.
Epidemological investigation and contact tracing inside RIMS has been initiated by the community medicine department of the hospital. All heads of departments, units have been instructed to reinforce the infection prevention and control measures very strictly to contain the spread of Covid-19 and advised to submit names of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers (left outs) for Covid-19 testing. Vice-president of CRED RIMS has also been instructed to sanitise, clean, scrub and fogging with disinfectants urgently.
A 41 years old male, who works in a private pharmacy within the district hospital premises of Churachandpur district was also tested positive for Covid-19 at JNIMS VRDL on Sunday evening. He is the lone positive case from among 163 close contacts of an earlier positive case, who is an employee of Advance Diagnostic, CCpur and resident of Bishnupur district. Churachandpur district has 181 total confirmed cases of which 29 are active cases, informed a statement of district surveillance officer Dr Ngahneikim Haokip.
Number of total positive case in Kakching district has reached 119 after two more positive cases were detected at RIMS VRDL on Sunday. The two are returnees and staying at a community quarantine centre set up at Langmeidong Dramatic Union. At least 51 persons are staying in different quarantine centres in the district. Currently, 14 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment at the Covid Care Facility set up at Padma Ratna English School, according to district surveillance officer Kakching Dr Kiran Elangbam.
As the situation worsened, three more doctors and a ward attendant of Thoubal district hospital were also confirmed for Covid-19 at District Hospital Thoubal. Two of the doctors are from Lilong and the remaining from Kyamgei, Imphal East while the ward attendant is from Thoubal Athokpam. The district reported 27 new cases on Sunday alone at District hospital (15), Waikhom Mani Girls College mobile antigen test (4), and RIMS (8). Four of the eight cases detected at RIMS VRDL are staff of district hospital Thoubal.
As per statement issued by medical superintendent of the district hospital, they are posted at the Casualty & Trauma Centre (CTC) and Flu Clinic. Consequently, the district hospital has been shut down with immediate effect until further order. Informing that district surveillance team has been taking up precautionary measures, contact tracing of both primary and secondary contacts, the statement asked all primary contacts, both hospital staff on duty and patients, who attended the CTC to report to the OPD ticket counter on Monday and Tuesday. All secondary contacts are advised to follow strict home quarantine to contain the spread of Covid-19, the statement said while informing the CRED supervisor of the hospital to sanitise the hospital premises.
On the other hand, six of the 27 new cases are from Thoubal Achouba and they are family members of an earlier case, who runs a hardware store. The hardware store owner’s six family members and two sales assistants were also tested positive earlier.
Following the increasing cases of Covid-19 in the district, DC Thoubal has declared containment zones in several places including quarantine centres set up at Hayellabuk SSA School, Yairipok Aided High School, and ITI Residential School Lilong, homestead lands at Thoubal Okram and Sabaltongba Mayai Leikai. The DC has also lifted containment zone status from Lilong Haoreibi College Boys’ Hostel (first floor) after all the inmates were found negative and discharged as per protocol.
In Imphal West district, the deputy commissioner has declared several containment zones which include Hindi Higher Secondary Kanglatongbi, a homestead land at Ghari Makha Leikai, some portion of Imphal Airport, a homestead land at Naoremthong Khumanthem Leikai. The portion of Imphal Airport declared as containment zone is bound by vacant ground of BTI in the North; vacant ground of BTI in the East; Cul-de-sac connecting entry gate & main barrack of BTI in the West; and sentry post & Cul-de-sac connecting entry gate (No 1) and central police canteen of BTI in the South.
DC Imphal East has also declared an ADC quarter of located inside the 2nd MR Commando Complex after one of its resident was found positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the CCR statement said that the government has intensified actions against the increasing trend of locally transmitted, sporadic cases occurring in some parts of the state. In Thoubal district, active case search among 6475 people has been completed and 10 new cases could be detected. Further surveillance is going on. In Churachandpur district, 545 contacts of an employee of a private lab were identified, 143 of them are found negative and results of the remaining are awaited.