Editorial

Ground reality

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/26/2020 12:41:31 PM IST

 Even as the number of COVID-19 cases in Nagaland shows exponential rise and leading to serious concerns, the state’s department of health & family welfare maintained that the spread is still under stage-2. Till April 30, the state had ‘Nil’ case of COVID-19. By May 25,after a few thousand persons from Nagaland returned, three cases of COVID-19 was confirmed thereby erasing the ‘Nil’ record. By June-end the number shot up to 460. As on July 26 the figures exponentially rose to 1335. It may also be noted, that as on July 26, the state recorded a total of six deaths among those who had tested positive for COVID-19. However, health officials explained that it was yet to be confirmed if all or some had died due to COVID-19. Most had reportedly died of co-morbidity(also having various other ailments). Local transmission or Stage 2 is when people who have brought the virus into the state transmit it to people they come in contact with, usually friends and family. At this stage it is easy to trace spread and quarantine people. The explanation satisfies the definition but in practice, it does not fit with the recent infections outside quarantine facilities. If transmission is taking place outside the quarantine centres, then it also means there are some(or many) COVID-19 patients moving about freely among public. Without prejudice, the question is whether the infections are from those who were at quarantine centres and now possibly under self or home quarantine? If it is from those who were at quarantine centres, then it raises another question of whether proper testing has been done and whether those quarantined had been released after following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)? If affirmative, then it points the finger on a possible scenario that there may be many who have not been tested for COVID-19. This then highlights the most likely situation of some COVID-19 asymptomatic persons, who are infected but never develop symptoms during the period of infection. Another type are COVID-19 pre-symptomatic persons who have not yet developed symptoms but do go on to develop symptoms later. This distinction is important for public health strategies to control transmission. For example, laboratory data suggests that people might be the most infectious at or around the time they develop symptoms. Though it is not to suggest such, but even in nearby Manipur and Assam, health officials are grappling with spurt in COVID-19 cases among many without travel history or known sources. In recent statements, there had been serious concern about spurt in COVID-19 cases in Peren district and possibly in other far flung districts. This has led leaders and organisations to seriously believe that these spikes in COVID-19 cases were due to community transmission. Though it may be still too premature to suggest that Stage-3(community transmission) is taking place in some areas, yet it would be helpful not to rule it out. AIIMS Director Dr.Randeep Guleria had remarked that the localised community transmission being observed in some pockets of the country which suggest that India is between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of COVID-19 transmission Dr. Guleria, who is also a member of a Task Force on COVID-19, reportedly said that “localised community transmission” has been seen in some pockets and to indicate that India is between Stage 2 (local transmission) and Stage 3. It is now up to authorities to ponder over this matter and the sooner the better for public safety.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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