MUMBAI:Twenty-four of 26 coronavirus patients in Maharashtra's Sangli district have recovered from infection, and 22 of them have been discharged, local authorities said on Friday.
All these patients were either members of a family living in Islampur town or those who came in close contact with it. They accounted for all known coronavirus patients in this western Maharashtra district. "Twenty-four members of this group tested negative twice, indicating recovery," said district civil surgeon Dr CS Salunkhe.
Four members of the family tested positive for virus on March 23 after returning from Saudi Arabia. Within a week, another 21 relatives or close contacts, including a two-year- old boy, were found to have contracted the infection. "On April 5, the first four persons tested negative twice after the completion of 14-day isolation," Dr Salunkhe said.
"In the second and third slots, repeat samples of five and three family members tested negative, and recently 12 others tested negative twice," he said, adding that 22 of them have been discharged from hospital.
"Two persons (a couple) who have tested negative are still in hospital because their two-year-old son's isolation period is yet to be over, so they are with him," he added. But those who have been discharged will have to stay in institutional quarantine for some time before they can resume normal life.
Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, who is also local MLA and Sangli guardian minister, announced the news earlier and praised the doctors and nurses who treated the patients.
"These patients were under observation at Miraj Medical College. The results of their second test have come out negative, which marks a big success," said Deshmukh.
Patil said a three-pronged approach of isolation, cluster identification and social distancing prevented the spread of the virus in the area, and called it "Islampur pattern". However, he reminded people of the district that lockdown is still in force and it must be followed.