coronavirus.. Image Source: IANS News

Guwahati/Kohima, May 26 : The return of hundreds of home-bound people from southern and western India to the North-East has led to a rise in COVID-19 positive cases in the region, especially in Assam, where 102 fresh corona patients were reported in the past 24 hours, taking the total count to 616 on Tuesday night, ministers and officials said.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a series of tweets said of the 616 positive cases till Tuesday night, 547 are active cases. As many as 62 people have been discharged from hospitals, while four have died and three migrated to other states.

Sarma said 90 per cent of the Covid-19 patients in the state have been reported from the quarantine centres across the state's 33 districts. However, health officials said there are positive cases found in some districts outside the quarantine centres. Sarma said in Guwahati that the abrupt rise in corona cases is due to the return of 60,000 people, mostly from southern and western India, to Assam after the Home Ministry withdrew the interstate transport restriction on May 4.

Meanwhile, two more persons who escaped from the Don Bosco School quarantine centre at Ramnagar in Silchar in south Assam were apprehended by the police at Algapur railway station on Monday night. Earlier, three patients had fled from a quarantine centre in Guwahati. They were later arrested. Poor quality of food and other difficulties are said to be the reasons behind the escape of people from the quarantine centres.

The mountainous state Nagaland, which until Sunday was Covid-free state, on Tuesday, registered a fresh case, taking its tally to four patients since Monday. Nagaland Health Minister S. Pangnyu Phom tweeted that a returnee from Chennai has been tested COVID-19 positive at Kohima. With this, four people, all returnees from Chennai, have tested positive for the virus.

In Manipur, three more persons tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of cases in the state to 39, with 35 active cases. Health officials in Imphal said all the people, tested COVID-19 positive, returned to the state during the past three weeks from different parts of India, mostly southern and western regions of the country.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said a person, who had travelled from Chennai along with the 14th case, has turned out to be COVID-19 positive. The patient is currently in Resubelpara under institutional isolation and medical observation. With the fresh detection, the hill state has recorded 15 positive cases out of which 12 have recovered.

In Tripura, 15 people have tested positive during the past 24-hours, taking the state's total Covid-19 positive tally to 209, including 162 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel and their kin, with active cases count of 42. Of the 15 fresh cases, 14 recently returned to Tripura from Maharashtra and one belongs to a family member of a jawan of 86th Battalion BSF.

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