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Shut for 40 days after its founder tested Covid positive, Shillong’s Bethany Hospital reopens

Written by Abhishek Saha
| Guwahati |

Published: May 23, 2020 6:09:05 pm

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma at the hospital paying tributes to the doctor. (Photo: Meghalaya CMO)

Bethany Hospital in Shillong — one of the first big private hospitals in Meghalaya which was shut for around 40 days after its founder tested positive for Covid and subsequently succumbed to the virus — opened for the patients on Saturday.

Dr John L Sailo Rynthathiang (69) was the hill state’s first Covid patient and also the first casualty. Later, several members of his family tested positive — a government official confirmed on Saturday that everyone has recovered by now. The Indian Express had reported how the doctor could be buried 36 hours after his death because of initial opposition by local groups.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who visited the hospital and joined the family in prayers for Dr Sailo, said on the occasion that the biggest tribute to the deceased doctor will be to “continue with the good work and fulfill his vision for the people”.

“I thank the entire Bethany Hospital team who responded to the pressure in a positive and cooperative manner. I also thank the network and the community who supported the government and Bethany Hospital during the time,” Sangma said.

The hospital said in a statement that the re-opening was a “beacon of hope for the rest of our staff, patrons and well-wishers”.

“We have missed seeing our patients and we are excited to inform (you) that the hospital will be fully operational finally after a forty-day-shutdown and we cannot wait to see them back in the practice,” the statement said. It added that the hospital has been “fully sanitised as per government guidelines”.

“We have also re-instituted our policies and polished our ways of working to prevent viral transmission and we want to share the good news that none of our staff had tested positive for Covid-19,” the statement said.

Meghalaya has reported a total of 14 Covid cases so far — out of which 12 have recovered.

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