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While 26 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the state on Friday, the Meghalaya government has suspected community spread of Coronavirus at Khanapara area in Ri-Bhoi district.

Khanapara is bordering Guwahati city, which also saw the surge of COVID-19 positive cases.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, DHS (MI), Dr Aman War said that 26 new positive cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

Of the new cases, 14 are BSF personnel from East Khasi Hills district, 5 returnees, 5 from Baridua (high risk contacts of positive patients) under Khanapara area bordering Guwahati, and two health workers deployed at the entry checking point, Byrnihat, in Ri Bhoi district.

Dr War informed that two health staff have been admitted at the RP Chest Hospital in Shillong. Now a total of three health staff working at the checkpoint have tested positive.

The total active cases now went up to 352 in the state.

District wise, there are 307 active cases in East Khasi Hills district which include 236 BSF personnel, 9 from Assam Regimental Centre, two each from Air Force and Assam Rifles, one army from Rangmen in Umroi and 57 others.

There are 31 active cases in Ri-Bhoi district, eight in West Garo Hills district, two each in East Jaiñtia Hills district and South Garo Hills district and one each in East  Garo Hills and North Garo Hills district.

Altogether 49 infected persons have recovered, and have succumbed to the disease. Meghalaya has now recorded a total of 403 COVID-19 cases.

Till Friday, the number of samples sent for the test was 25,981 out of which, 25178 tested negative and 400 test results are awaited.

The number of entrants from outside Meghalaya till date was 22,329.

Asked if community spread has started in Khanapara area, Dr War said, “We suspected that community spread at Khanapara area and curfew is being imposed in the area right from Byrnihat to deter people from coming out unnecessarily, and prevent further spread of the virus.”

He said that the first positive case (index case) at Khanapara-B was from Greenwood Resort.

On persons who tested positive from the Keatinge Road area in Shillong, Dr War said that initially one person was tested positive, and later another 12 of them tested positive a few days ago.

“These persons had gone to Bihar for a wedding in March but they could not return to Shillong because of the national lockdown. They returned to Shillong only recently,” Dr War said.

On two infants who tested positive a few days ago, Dr War said that a 9-month old baby came from Manipur with the parent and has been referred to the Corona care centre in Shillong.

While the parents tested negative, only the baby tested positive.

Another one-and-half month- old baby who came with the parents from Bihar was tested positive as well as the parents and they are being treated at Shillong civil hospital.

Dr War said that there are altogether 1800 people staying inside the BSF campus in Umpling and all of them have been tested.

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