Shillong, Aug 1 (PTI) A doctor of the Bethany Hospital here tested negative for COVID-19 a day after he was found to be positive, authorities of the medical facility said on Saturday.

There is no reason for the people to panic as all precautionary measures are being followed, they said.

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The doctor was on leave for more than a week. As per the protocol, any doctor or staff has to be tested for COVID- 19 before resuming his or her duties for the safety of all patients and staff," hospital spokesperson Kyntiewlang Sanmiet said.

He said the doctors swab sample was taken on July 29 for RT-PCR test and his report came in as positive.

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The doctor was immediately taken from his residence to a Corona Care Centre for quarantine, Sanmiet said.

"As instructed by the government, he was tested again through RT-PCR on July 30 and was found to be negative, Sanmiet said.

COVID-19 is a new virus and not much is known about it, he added.

"There is a possibility that a person can be found to be negative a day after being tested positive. That is why we appeal to the public not to panic as recovery can happen within a day," Sanmiet said.

He also said that the doctor is doing well and does not have any symptoms.

The outpatient department and all other services at the hospital are functioning normally.

Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) test is considered to be the most reliable for detecting COVID-19.

Bethany Hospital recorded the state's first COVID-19 case when its owner Dr John L Sailo Ryntathiang tested positive on April 13. He also became the first person in the state to die of coronavirus infection.

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