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Caught between two NE states, COVID-19 patient from Nagaland in limbo

The seven contiguous northeastern states have had 50 coronavirus positive cases. Assam leads the table with 34 cases. | Representational image

The seven contiguous northeastern states have had 50 coronavirus positive cases. Assam leads the table with 34 cases. | Representational image   | Photo Credit: AP

Nagaland added him to the tally of Assam as he tested positive at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital but he finds no mention in the Assam government’s update as well

His COVID-19 positive status seems to have made a 33-year-old man from Nagaland’s commercial hub Dimapur “stateless”.

The man belongs to a major trading family that was one of the first Hindi-speaking settlers in Nagaland, which was part of Assam until December 1, 1963.

He tested positive at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on April 12, hours after he was shifted from a private hospital in Dimapur in a critical condition. The ambulance driver and those who had accompanied the patient tested negative but were quarantined at the GMCH.

Dimapur is about 280 km east of Guwahati.

State Helpline numbers | State-wise tracker | A map of confirmed cases in India

Nagaland’s Department of Health and Family Welfare has, however, has been maintaining the State has no positive case. Its periodic updates say: “The positive case of Nagaland have (sic) been added to the tally of Assam State as sampling was done in Assam...”

“Yes, since he has tested positive there (GMCH), his case is not included,” Nagaland’s Home Commissioner Abhijit Sinha told The Hindu.

But the Dimapur man finds no mention in the Assam government’s update on the number of COVID-19 positive cases.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma declined to comment on the transfer of the Dimapur man’s case to Assam, virtually putting him in limbo. “I stand by my tweets,” he said.

None of his tweeted updates includes the Nagaland man in Assam. One of those tweets specified that a private hospital in Nagaland referred the Dimapur man to GMCH after he showed symptoms of COVID-19.

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“It is obvious that the man was infected in Nagaland but was sent to us because they could not handle such a case. If the Nagaland government wants to keep its slate clean, we cannot do anything about it,” an Assam health official said, declining to be quoted.

Arunachal Pradesh had earlier made it clear its only positive patient was a “non-Arunachali man” but did not disown him. He was declared recovered on Thursday.

The seven contiguous northeastern states have had 50 coronavirus positive cases. Assam leads the table with 34 cases followed by Meghalaya with nine, Manipur and Tripura with two each, and Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland with one each.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:59:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/caught-between-two-ne-states-covid-19-patient-from-nagaland-in-limbo/article31366286.ece

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