A senior doctor in Meghalaya John L. Sailo Ryntathiang, who tested positive for nCoV two days back, on Wednesday succumbed to COVID-19 registering the first coronavirus death in the hill state, officials said.
Confirming the death of the doctor, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said: "I am deeply saddened to inform that the first COVID-19 positive patient in Meghalaya passed away this morning (Wednesday). My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. May his soul rest in peace."
He added: "Of the 68 tested so far, 6 have come out positive who are all family members & helpers of the first #Covid19 positive case. "
Sixty-nine-year-old Sailo Ryntathiang, the founder of the private Bethany Hospital, breathed his last in the wee hours on Wednesday. He had tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday evening.
The Chief Minister in a separate tweet said that of the 68 swab samples tested so far, six have come out positive for nCoV and they are all family members and helpers of Sailo Ryntathiang at his private hospital. "Six other cases are being re-tested. We are currently sanitising adjoining areas of the Bethany Hospital, particularly Nongrim Hills, near the hospital in Shillong," the Chief Minister said in another tweet.
Sangma said that a total of 90 samples have been sent for testing after the first COVID-19 positive case in Meghalaya.
The areas around Bethany Hospital in Shillong and Nongpoh have been sealed. Lists of the primary contacts of the doctor and the secondary contacts are being compiled.
The doctor had no travel history except that his son-in-law, who is a pilot, had been to COVID-19 infected countries, and had returned home on March 22. According to health officials in Shillong, the pilot, however, did not show any symptoms of coronavirus and was an asymptomatic case.