The Shillong case of Coronavirus has turned out to be the biggest health scare of the Northeast threatening to eclipse the Markaz returnee as the deceased doctor is the owner of a popular hospital and himself a highly regarded doctor.
What has triggered alarm bell that Dr John L. Sailo Ryntathiang has been active till Sunday(April 12) last as he had no symptoms and had no travel history. In fact till April 13 Meghalaya was the only state of the country having no positive cases.
But not only all that changed in one stroke but threatening to take a bigger size as already six of his family members has turned positive and many more are feared.
So far in North East India, Markaz returnee is the biggest cluster with 32 turning positive in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. One of them is dead and 23 of them are found twice negative in the latest test and shall be released by April 20.
But Bethany hospital is threatening to be a bigger scare as it is thronged not only from Shillong but many from neighbouring states also. The Markaz returnee could be spotted with 24 hours but here the spread is huge as the hospital has 175 bed beside OPD and outreach program. Moreover, the deceased doctor and six other family members who were involved in the Hospital work are also tested positive.
On the other hand, the Meghalaya government was about to lower the guards and was talking of reopening the offices and economy with sealed-border when this bomb exploded sending not only the whole of Meghalaya but also in Guwahati as many doctors have well network and connection with this popular hospital.
Dr. John L. Sailo Ryntathiang, the 69-year-old breathed his last around 3:00 AM. He was tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The doctor was initially baffled how he could contract the disease as he had no travel history. Now it is suspected that his son in law, an Air India polit may be the carrier as he flew to to New yours just before lock down. The son in law is still asymptomatic.
Entire Bethany hospital was sealed and the Meghalaya government has issued curfew and started a massive contract tracing and so far found 2000 people might have come into his contact or the hospital. This is one of the biggest private hospitals in Shillong which started in 1991 has now 175 beds.
What is most worrisome that six of his family members are already tested positive and the number can go much more as the health authoritative have started toi test the Bethany hospital staff and medical staff besides the patients.
Following the confirmation of the case, the government of Meghalaya has imposed a curfew of 48 hours in the Shillong Agglomeration area starting from 6AM of April 14.
The government has also urged all residents of the state who may have visited Bethany Hospital after March 22 to get themselves checked for the virus.
“With the first case of coronavirus coming to light, we have a challenge in front of us. But we are fully prepared for the situation,” said Conrad Sangma, chief minister of Meghalaya.