SHILLONG, Apr 14: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday urged all citizens of Meghalaya not to stigmatise the person tested positive for COVID-19 and people working at Bethany Hospital.
“COVID-19 does not know any race or any colour or any religion or any boundaries so therefore I think stigmatising individuals because they tested positive is a very wrong thing. It could happen to anyone. As a society we must be mature and responsible in how we handle the situation,” he said.
He informed that according to preliminary investigation it was found that the patient’s relative had a travel history from an infected country and added, “That person continued to inform the government and registered himself through 108 and took all the precautions. Sometimes there are asymptomatic cases which do not show any symptom. So therefore, there is a high chance that it could have been passed on from them.”
The Chief Minister also said that they were looking into all the different possibilities to ascertain how the patient was infected. “Investigation is still going on. Sticking to social distancing and isolation and adhering to quarantine is very important,” he stressed.
“There has been stigmatising of people working in that particular hospital. This is very wrong. I sincerely urge people of localities, Rangbah Shnongs, elders and religious leaders in society, this is the time we must come together. It’s not their fault and I don’t think as a society our actions should in any way be negative,” the Chief Minister appealed through a video message.
“We should support them but that does not mean we should be careless in our ways. Be sensitive to these people going through a difficult time,” he said.
He also reached out to all medical professionals. “I know you are having a hard time but I want to remind you of the oath you have taken to serve society, the poor and the sick. It is the time for you to act,” he said.
The Chief Minister also admitted that the government is having challenges with procuring equipments and added that they are working on it.
He also informed that the government have traced 200 plus primary contacts and over 2000 secondary contacts and said, “We are starting tests with primary contacts first. And 50% of their samples have been sent for testing. The results will be coming soon.”
Further he said that there was no need to fear as 85% people with the virus are asymptomatic and only 15-20% will require medical assistance. “3-5% cases which might require ventilation. 85-90% cases are not critical,” he said.
He also urged people to follow norms set by the Meghalaya Government and the Government of India.