Guwahati/Kohima: The return of thousands of homebound people from southern and western India to the Northeast caused an abrupt rise in COVID-19 positive cases in the region, especially in Assam, where 168 fresh corona patients were reported in 24-hours taking the total count to 595 on Tuesday afternoon, ministers and officials said on Tuesday.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a series of tweets said that of the 595 positive cases till Tuesday afternoon, 526 are active cases, 62 were discharged from the hospitals, four died and three migrated to other states.
Sarma said that 90 per cent of the Covid-19 patients in the state have been reported from the quarantine centres across the state’s 33 districts. However, health officials said that there are positive cases found in some districts outside the quarantine centres.
He said in Guwahati that the sudden rise in corona cases is due to the return of 60,000 people, mostly from southern and western India, to Assam after the Home Ministry withdrew the interstate transport restriction on May 4.
Meanwhile, two more persons who escaped from the Don Bosco School quarantine centre at Ramnagar in Silchar in south Assam were apprehended by the police at Algapur Railway Station on Monday night. Earlier three patients had fled from a quarantine centre in Guwahati. Police subsequently arrested them. Poor quality of food and other difficulties are said to be the reasons behind the escape of people from the quarantine centres.
The mountainous state Nagaland, which until Sunday was Covid-19 free state, on Tuesday, registered another fresh case taking the total tally to four patients since Monday. Nagaland Health Minister S. Pangnyu Phom tweeted that another returnee from Chennai has been tested COVID-19 positive at Kohima. With this, four people, all returned from Chennai, tested positive for the infectious virus.
In Manipur, three more persons tested positive for the novel coronavirus taking the total number of cases in the state to 39, with 35 active cases.
The health officials in Imphal said that all the people, tested with COVID-19 positive, returned to the state during the past three weeks from different parts of India, mostly southern and western regions of the country.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said that another person, who had travelled from Chennai along with the 14th case, has turned out to be COVID-19 positive. The patient is presently in Resubelpara under institutional isolation and medical observation.
In Tripura, four people, who recently came from Maharashtra, tested positive on Monday night, took the state’s total Covid-19 positive cases to 198, including 161 Border Security Force personnel and their kin, with active cases count of 31.