GUWAHATI: As feared, some states in the Northeast are witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases as the stranded people have started arriving home from different parts of the country.
Also, some people who had no travel history in recent times tested positive thereby complicating the situation.
On May 1, the total number of cases in the Northeast was 61. The figure rose to 286 on Sunday. The cases include three deaths – two in Assam and one in Meghalaya.
With 167 cases, Tripura tops the table, followed by Assam (96), Meghalaya (13) and Manipur (7). Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh recorded one case each. A businessman from Nagaland had tested positive at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. But he was disowned by both states as none of them counted him as its case.
As of Sunday, there are 158 active cases in the Northeast – 101 in Tripura, 51 in Assam, five in Manipur and one in Meghalaya.
A 9-year-old boy in Assam is the Northeast’s youngest to have tested positive. Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the minor had returned from Delhi. He was being treated at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.
Assam recorded over a dozen cases in the past week. Most of these people, including cancer patients, had arrived from other parts of the country. Given the situation, the state government has already urged the Centre to extend the lockdown by two weeks.
Of Tripura’s 167 cases, 159 were reported from two BSF battalion headquarters. The cases include over a dozen family members of the personnel. A woman and a jawan of Tripura State Rifles were the state’s first two cases. Subsequently, cases were continuously being reported from the two BSF headquarters until Saturday when some civilians were found positive.
A girl student from Bristol University in the UK and another person were Manipur’s first two cases. After both recovered, the state did not record any case for about a month until the arrival of people from outside.
Over the past three days, a nurse was among five people who tested positive. They had come from Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. The spurt in the cases made a committee on COVID-19 to recommend to the government to test every person arriving from outside.
The rest of the states in the Northeast have not recorded any fresh cases.