An ambulance driver from Tamil Nadu, who recently drove Tripura patients tested positive for COVID-19

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Agartala, April 30, 2020:

An ambulance driver who recently travelled to Tripura has been tested positive to the COVID-19. Making this announcement during a late night briefing at the civil secretariat, Tripura Minister Ratan Lal Nath added that the close contacts of the driver have been sent to institutional quarantine.

Nath informed that the driver came to Tripura bringing 5 Tripuri people from Chennai. “On April 27 last, five people, three from Gomati and two from Baikhora  returned home from Chennai in an ambulance.There were two drivers in the vehicle and they had crossed Churaibari and entered Tripura on the 27th”, Nath said.

A screening was done at Churaibari entry point in Tripura, but they were initially found to be asymptomaic for COVID-19.

However, their samples were collected and tested yesterday. Today, one of the two drivers from Tamil Nadu has tested positive, Nath said. Nath said that both the drivers had already left Tripura yesterday since the pass was valid till April 28. “He had passed over to West Bengal till the last information came in. The five people who came to Tripura have been sent to Institutional Quarantine. Now, their contacts are being traced”, Nath added.

Meanwhile, District Magistrate of Gomati district T K Debnath said that on Monday, two families of Udaipur and Baikhora arrived on board an ambulance late in the night. They, alongwith the two drivers of the vehicle, were shifted to facility quarantine and later, samples were collected. Since none of them had shown any symptoms, they were released from facility quarantine and shifted to home quarantine.

Debnath also added that since the driver had to leave Tripura by April 28 due to the impending expiry of his emergency pass, he left Tripura on Tuesday. “As soon as we got the reports it had been found that one of the drivers found to be COVID positive whereas the others are negative”, Nath said.

The District Magistrate also informed that the ambulance driver was traced at Birpara, 80 kilometers away from the Jalpaiguri town in West Bengal. “Both the driver and co-driver have been put in quarantine. We have also isolated the close contacts of the Udaipur family and the caretaker’s family”, the District Magistrate said. Sources in South Tripura district also said that the Baikhora family had been also home quarantined.