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Spectre of community spread looms large as 3 test positive for Covid after random tests


Shillong, Aug 14: Three persons tested positive after random testing at Phulbari CHC today, the state’s health authorities informed. Worryingly, one person in East Khasi Hills with no travel history and no known contact with a positive case also tested positive for Covid-19. Cases jumped by 35 in Meghalaya today, though there were also 34 recoveries, which took the active tally up by just one, to 641. The random sampling in Phulbari follows the government’s direction to conduct random testing in 71 clusters in Meghalaya. Director of Health Services Dr Aman War informed that the person with no travel history is a resident of Rilbong, Shillong. His wife has also contracted the virus. The couple owns a shop in Rilbong. Stating that a person who has no travel history contracting the virus is a cause of concern, Dr War said that contact tracing is on to identify the source of the infection. Fourteen of the 35 new cases were from East Khasi Hills. Seven are members of the Border Security Force (BSF) and seven are civilians – one returnee from Haryana, one staff nurse in Shillong Civil Hospital, three high-risk contacts of a NEIGRIHMS case (two of who are residents of Mawlai Nongkwar and one of Upper Shillong), the Rilbong case and one severe acute respiratory infection cases from Mawbah. West Garo Hills reported 20 new cases, which took their tally above 100, 16 of which are in the BSF and four are civilians – one worker at a corona care centre in Walbakgre and the three discovered through random sampling in Phulbari. Dr War said that 50 samples are collected from one location during every random sampling. The other new case in the state came from South West Garo Hills, where a returnee from Assam was found to be positive. The total number of active cases now stands at 641 – East Khasi Hills 419 (85 BSF, civilians 263 and armed forces 71), West Khasi Hills three, South West Khasi Hills one, Ri-Bhoi 83, West Jaiñtia Hills 16, East Jaiñtia Hills five, West Garo Hills 102, South West Garo Hills three, South Garo Hills three and North Garo Hills six. The state also recorded 34 recoveries, taking the total number of such cases to 581. Of the 34 recoveries, 31 are from East Khasi Hills (one is from the armed forces, eight BSF and 22 civilians), while West Garo Hills recorded two recoveries and East Jaiñtia Hills one. The number of samples sent for testing until Friday afternoon is 42,910, out of which 41,425 results tested negative and the reports of 257 samples are awaited. A total of 27,767 citizens have entered Meghalaya until Friday afternoon.