Shramik Special train
The stranded people arriving in Dimapur railway station from Chennai on May 22 evening. Image credit - Bhadra Gogo

Three persons tested positive for COVID19 in Nagaland on Monday, adding one more state to the list of infected states in the country.

With the detection of the COVID19 positive cases, the state has lost the Corona-free status.

All the three positive patients travelled from Chennai on May 19 by a Shramik Special train and arrived in Dimapur on May 22, Nagaland health and family welfare minister S. Pangnyu Phom said.

Two of the infected patients, a 20-year-old boy and a 23-year-old girl, are undergoing treatment in the COVID19 hospital at Dimapur while the third, a 26-year-old man, is being treated the COVID19 hospital at Kohima.

Phom said the samples were tested at BSL-3 in Kohima and the reports were received at 5.36 am on Monday.

One person from Dimapur, Raju Jain tested positive for the virus in Guwahati on April 12.

He was discharged from the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) in Guwahati on May 1 after recovery.

According to reports, Jain remained a stateless case as both the governments of Assam and Nagaland are yet to declare his status.

Over 1,300 stranded people from the state came by the special train from Chennai.

During the screening of the returnees at the Agri Expo site at Dimapur, the girl, after being detected with symptoms, was sent directly to the isolation ward of the COVID19 hospital in Dimapur.

She was shifted to the COVID19 ward of the hospital upon confirmation of her result.

Since the 20-year-old boy did not show any symptom on his arrival at the Agri Expo site, he was sent to a quarantine centre.

However, he showed symptoms later and was sent to the COVID19 hospital’s isolation ward in Dimapur for collection of sample and the result came positive on Monday.

The other positive patient was sent directly to Kohima from the Dimapur railway station upon arrival.

As per contact tracing by Dimapur district surveillance team, two of the positive cases were sitting adjacent to each other in the coach, Phom said.

He said all the three patients are now under treatment and stable.

Phom said the district surveillance units have intensified their surveillance activities and started contact tracing at 7 am on Monday.

He added that a massive exercise of testing of all passengers, who came by the Special Shramik train, is being undertaken.

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio appealed to the people of the state not to panic but to handle the situation with utmost care and responsibility.

“Necessary action of contact tracing & containment measures are being taken and situation closely monitored,” Rio tweeted.

Chief secretary Temjen Toy said the real challenge for the state has begun with the confirmation of the three positive cases. He appealed to the people of the state to rise up and show goodness, cooperation, and solidarity.

Principal secretary to the health department, Menukhol John, declared that Nagaland is no longer in the green zone with the detection of three positive COVID19 cases in the state.

He said active contact tracing has been started with aggressive testing to prevent any further spread of the virus.

The health department has appealed to the public not to panic but continue to be cautious and follow the safety guidelines issued from time to time.

“The infected persons and their families at this juncture need our prayer and support and not discrimination and stigmatization,” it said and appealed to everyone to join hands to support the efforts of the frontline workers.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com