Representative photo.

In a major relief, 61 tests, conducted so far at ICMR-RMRC centre, Lahowal in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, for suspected COVID-19, were found negative.

Informing this, Biswajyoti Borkakoty, senior scientist and nodal officer of ICMR-RMRC, on Sunday said, “So far we have carried out 61 tests at our lab and all of them have turned out negative.”

“We have not detected any COVID-19 cases in Assam or from other states of the Northeast so far,” confirmed Borkakoty.

He also said, “We need to be more aware. Our citizens have to play a bigger role to control the deadly virus. Social distancing and hand hygiene is a must to control the spread of the virus.”

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“Till now, there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Assam and the entire Northeast, but the next 10-15 days will be very crucial,” said Borkakoty.

“It is inevitable that the virus may come to Assam and the Northeast. We may have plenty of cases but we don’t have to worry about it,” he said.

He further said 95% of the cases will have mild fever and cough and they won’t require treatment.

Borkakoty added that 5% would have pneumonia and out that 5%, only 10 % may require ventilation.

“Ventilator facility should be made adequate at the hospitals. If there is an explosive outbreak, the health system will be overloaded,” he warned.

Borkakoty also appealed to the people to practice hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing to keep the deadly virus at bay.

Asking everyone not to panic, he asked the citizens not to spread fake news and rumours on the social media about coronavirus.

He also informed that the sample of the 4-year-old girl from Jorhat, sent from Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH), was found negative during the confirmatory test.

RMRC is one of the six regional centres of ICMR in Dibrugarh district.

The centre, set up in 1982, covers the most remote and less-developed, eight states of the northeastern region of India and is responsible for carrying out biomedical research in the region.

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: