American who tested positive in Thimphu also visited Maharashtra, Assam

GUWAHATI: A 76-year-old American tourist who tested positive for Covid-19 in Thimphu on Friday had spent more than eight days in
Assam before he flew to Bhutan on March 2, health officials said after tracing his travels through the state that included a luxury cruise on the Brahmaputra from the river island of Majuli to Guwahati.

“He and his fiancee spent a night in a Guwahati hotel before flying out. Luckily, that room wasn’t allotted to any other guest after the couple left. The hotel has been asked to fumigate the room. All hotel staff who came in contact with him have been quarantined,” director of health services
Rathindra Bhuyan said. “We have traced the driver of the vehicle that ferried the couple here. He has been quarantined, too.”

The American had apparently tested negative for Covid-19 during the mandatory screening on arrival at Guwahati airport. He also tested negative at Paro airport on March 2. “His symptoms might not have developed fully because of the warmer weather here,” Bhuyan said.

Health ministry officials in Delhi said the US national had travelled to Mumbai before visiting Assam.

Assam officials are awaiting the arrival of the cruise ship from Neematighat in Jorhat with another batch of foreign tourists on board so that they can be screened.

An official said that the state government was planning to seek the Centre’s permission to clamp a temporary ban on the entry of foreign tourists, like Sikkim did on Thursday and Bhutan on Friday. “This is the best way to keep everyone safe as of now.”

An Italian tourist has been quarantined at
Tezpur Medical College and his blood reports are awaited. Screening is being carried out at Kaziranga National Park, another place visited by hordes of foreigners.

Assam hasn’t reported any case of novel
coronavirus infection so far..

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