Manipur health minister's three family members test positive for COVID-19

Health Minister L Jayantakumar has, however, tested negative for the virus.

Three relatives of Manipur Health Minister L Jayentakumar Singh tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. The development comes a day after an official of the Health department stationed at state Covid Control Room set up in the premises of Manipur chief minister tested positive for coronavirus.

The health minister said that as precautionary measures, all his immediate family members and staff were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday after one of his cousins tested positive for the virus. All who have undergone the test, except two of his relatives, tested negative, he said. Nevertheless, the two relatives hail from a different locality. The health minister has, however, tested negative for the virus.

It is learned that one of the minister's relatives, who was undergoing treatment at Shija Hospitals and Research Institute (SHRI) following an accident on July 24, was confirmed COVID-19 positive Saturday around 9 pm. The patient was to undergo surgery on Sunday but he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the surgery on July 25, SHRI officials said.

Subsequently, all family members, including the health minister and immediate office staff, were tested on Sunday as a precautionary measure.

“I and all of my staffs are found to be COVID-19 negative. However, unfortunately, all family members, except two, are tested negative. Both reside at my Pishumthong residence," Jayantakumar updated in his social media account.

The patients have been shifted to COVID Care Centre. Pishumthong area will be declared a containment zone as per the guidelines, he said.

"The COVID-19 virus is invisible, contagious and unpredictable. We do not know who will be the next target. The only available vaccine right now is 'precautions'. Therefore, we, as an individual and the people of the state, need to follow and abide by the SOPs and the guidelines provided by the Health department," the minister added.

The general ward of SHRI has been sealed following the confirmation of the accident victim who was admitted in the hospital.

Dr K Palin, chairman cum managing director SHRI, said the hospital had contacted the authority concerned to shift the patient in one of the hospitals with Covid Care Facility as it has no special facility to treat COVID-19 patients.

Subsequently, the patient has been shifted to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Covid Care Centre. Dr Palin further said that contact tracing for primary and secondary contacts has been started and the contacts will be tested for COVID-19 at the earliest, the contacts have been advised home quarantine, Palin stated.

The hospital will continue its emergency and OPD services, Dr Palin said, adding that the top floor of the hospital has been sealed for now.

The Manipur health department in a statement said that the state has intensified actions against the increasing trend of locally transmitted, sporadic cases occurring in some parts of the state.

The total number of positive cases stand at 2,235 of which 714 are active cases and 1521 recovered.

First Published: July 26, 2020, 8:38 p.m.