Meghalaya Health Minister AL Hek on Monday said that state DGP R Chandranathan has tested positive for Covid-19 and has quarantined himself at home. He also informed that over 60 prisoners lodged in Nongpoh jail in state’s Ri Bhoi district have also contracted the coronavirus infection.
“The DGP was infected with Covid-19 day before yesterday. He is having mild symptoms and regular check up is being done by doctors from the Shillong Civil Hospital," Hek told reporters. His condition is said to be stable.
Expressing concern over the same, the minister said that there has been a sudden surge in the number of the Covid-19 cases among the Nongpoh jail inmates.
“There are 63 cases detected so far and 90 per cent of them are asymptomatic," he said and added that the district administration has already declared the jail premises as a containment zone to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
It may be mentioned that the DoNER Ministry, in a statement earlier, had mentioned that Meghalaya is the only exception which witnessed a surge due to Covid-19 outbreak in a jail in district Ri-Bhoi.
In the statement made by Union Minister of State (independent charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh had said that there was progressive decline in Covid-19 cases in all the North-eastern states except Meghalaya.
Hek said the spread of coronavirus infection highly depends on the behavior of the people. “If they follow the protocols, the Covid-19 cases will decline but if they don’t, then there will be an increase in the number of cases," the health minister said.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya’s Covid-19 tally rose to 51,901 on Monday as 377 more people tested positive for the infection, while nine fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 871, a senior health official said. Ri-Bhoi district registered the highest number of new cases at 134, followed by East Khasi Hills (128) and West Khasi Hills (37), Health Services Director Aman War said.