Meghalaya: 5 rapid test positive returnees cleared after testing negative through recognized tests

Meghalaya: 5 rapid test positive returnees cleared after testing negative through recognized tests

Shillong/Tura, May 16:

Five out of twelve people, who returned from Chennai by special train and who initially tested positive through the rapid tests, were finally found to be COVID – 19 negative through the two recognized and relied upon TRUENAT Beta COV and RT-PCR tests for the virus, once again putting the efficacy of the rapid testing to the test.

The 5, who were originally separated from the rest through quarantine, were later released this evening, May 16 to return home for the mandatory quarantine. The results of the 7 others will be available tomorrow morning, officials said.

TRUENAT Beta COV and RT-PCR are the recognized tests for COVID – 19 (Coronavirus) for their accuracy and reliability by both WHO and the ICMR.

When contacted, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek confirmed that 12 people who returned from Chennai were initially tested positive by the rapid diagnostic test.

Out of the 12, Hek informed that seven are from East Khasi Hills, four from Tura and one from Ri-Bhoi district.

Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong today said that out of 873 returnees from Tamil Nadu, 12 were tested positive by Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits.

"Immediately they were taken to Quarantine Centre in their respective District. Their Samples were collected and sent for PCR test at NEIGRIHMS and Tura Civil Hospital. The results for all 4 from Tura and one from Ri Bhoi have been tested and confirm Negative while the results for the seven from East Khasi Hills will be known tomorrow," informed Tynsong.

The Dy CM hopes that the result of the seven returnees also will be negative.

It was informed that a positive result on the rapid test does not mean a person is infected. A test can show positive if the person has other forms of illness or infection other than Covid-19.

It may be mentioned that a total number of 873 students and individuals had arrived in the State from Chennai on early Saturday morning.

Out of these 873 people, 61 are from East Garo Hills, 36 from East Jaintia Hills. 192 from East Khasi Hills, 145 from North Garo Hills, 73 from Ri Bhoi District, 27 South Garo Hills, 53 from Southwest Garo Hills, 26 South West Khasi Hills, 125 from West Garo Hills, 69 from West Jaintia Hills and 66 from West Khasi Hills.

For the returnees in Garo Hills, the Tura Civil Hospital carried out the TRUENAT tests at the specially set up Covid-19 test lab while the rest underwent RT-PCR tests at NEIGRIHMS in Shillong.

For Garo Hills, initial screening of the returnees was done at Berubari in North Garo Hills (NGH) before they were taken to ISBT near Chasingre, on the outskirts of Tura. The returnees were received there by government officials, while also being given food and water, with rapid testing being carried out.

It was in the initial testing at ISBT that the 4 from Garo Hills tested positive leading to 89 of them being pushed into government quarantine centres.

"The returnees were sent to government designated quarantine centres as we awaited results on the four positive members at Tura civil hospital. All of them have now been cleared and released for home quarantine," confirmed deputy commissioner of WGH, Ram Singh.

It may be mentioned that the special train from Gujarat with 225 students and individuals on board will reach Guwahati on Sunday. The special train from Bangalore with around 1500 students and individuals on board who are stranded in Karnataka will reach Guwahati on May 18.

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