The health authorities in Assam have identified 111 people who had come in contact with a coronavirus positive businessman. The patient, a resident of Guwahati’s posh Spanish Garden locality, had a Delhi travel history, but he reportedly got the virus from a local “silent carrier”. The search for the spreader has been launched, and the residential area is being sanitised.
“We are of the opinion that he did not get infected in Delhi because it has been a month since he returned; he might have got infected in Guwahati itself. Since he tested positive after 28 days of travel, there might be a silent carrier,” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
“We have been able to identify till now 111 people who came in his (the businessman) direct contact. We have collected samples from them for tests. The locality where he stays has 150 families; people there will be in home quarantine, a containment zone has been demarcated,” he added.
The man had returned from Delhi on February 29, and till the lockdown was announced on March 24, he met several people. He had also travelled to Shillong and his hometown Nagaon, sources say.
The patient experienced respiratory unease and mild fever for a week, after which he consulted a private doctor. After preliminary tests, the doctor advised him to take coronavirus test.
The state witnessed a big spike in the number of cases on Saturday. Out of its 25 coronavirus positive cases, 24 were people who had taken part in Delhi’s Nizamuddin gathering. The Assam government has ramped up testing for early detection of the virus.
“We have ramped up testing. We have tested 1,529 samples. 1,308 samples tested negative, 25 are positive,” Mr Sarma said.
Mr Sarma, however, claimed those who returned after attending the Delhi mosque event are not cooperating.
“I am sad to inform that we are getting information that a lot of people had gone to Nizamuddin. 812 Nizamuddin-linked samples were tested, 24 are positive. This is an evolving situation. We didn’t get support from Tablighis… we are appealing one last time for them to reach out and identify themselves, else we will have to take strict action,” he said.