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14 of 300 who skipped COVID-19 screening at Assam railway station test positive

Morigaon district police trace 158 of those who gave the slip

Fourteen of at least 300 passengers who rushed out of a railway station in central Assam two days ago have tested COVID-19 positive, according to officials.

The passengers, many of them returnees from Kerala, got off Vivek Express at Morigaon district’s Jagiroad railway station at around 10.30 a.m. on Sunday. The train had arrived from Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu and was bound for Dibrugarh in eastern Assam.

They triggered a scare by skipping the mandatory COVID-19 tests at the railway station and went out during a stampede. Northeast Frontier Railway officials said many more passengers got off at Jagiroad than the 133 who were supposed to according to the reservation chart.

“We traced and caught 158 of these passengers, 31 of them from the adjoining Nagaon district,” Morigaon’s Superintendent of Police Aparna N. told The Hindu on Tuesday.

“From rapid antigen tests, 14 were found to be COVID-19 positive. RT-PCR samples have been taken from the others,” she said.

The district police said efforts were on to trace people who might have come into contact with those who tested positive, as well as some elusive passengers of the train.

Health officials said the “irresponsible” behaviour of a few was complicating the fight against the novel coronavirus in Assam.

There have been reports of people in home isolation flouting protocols and venturing out to meet friends and acquaintances.

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