Editorial

Challenge on humanity

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/15/2020 1:11:02 PM IST

 There is a lurking fear among many that allowing the return of several thousand people from Nagaland who have been stranded outside due to the lockdown, exposes a greater danger from coronavirus if any of them are carrying the virus. The fear may stem from the fact that some may not be showing symptoms even if they may be infected. This is known in medical terms as being asymptomatic. In an asymptomatic case is a person infected with COVID-19 does not develop symptoms but can transmit the virus to another person. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. The fate of stranded people belonging to almost all states, who have been caught under the nationwide lockdown since March 24 is indeed a big challenge. Even Bihar, which provides several lakh migrant labourers including those engaged with various professions, has been urging them to not return back. The Bihar government has also assured of financial assistance to Biharis who choose to remain and not return home. Even the government of Nagaland has also been making appeals to Nagas stranded outside to remain where they are and not to return. In order to encourage the stranded to remain where they are, the state government had offered a financial assistance of Rs.10,000 per person. The financial package of Rs.10,000 may not be much to even talk about but again, it is still something especially considering that the state suffers from acute shortage of funds, like most other states. Many of the cities, especially those in the northern, western and southern parts of India have been designated as either orange zone( a district that has not reported a single case in last 14 days) and red zone( a district with highest case load contributing to more than 80% cases of each state or a district with doubling rate less than 4 days). Thus, the fear of transmission from people coming from the above zones , especially cities under the 130 red zones such as – all of Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Chennai, Madurai, Jaipur, Jodhpur,Indore, Bhopal, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Darjeeling,Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Varanasi, Lucknow, Agra etc- might carry the virus, appears quite logical. It may also be noted, that even Guwahati, which has witnessed sudden spike when three new cases were confirmed has also been placed under a total lockdown for three days. The human tragedy of migrant labourers returning back to their own home states, some by transport vehicles, buses, trains and the lakhs who trekked on foot for hundreds of kilometres, stands as a testimony of how the virus can be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers. Bihar and UP have witnessed spikes in COVID-19 positive cases through several thousand returnees. However, unlike the migrants, the case of the stranded returnees who will be brought through government arranged transport(rail or bus) may be different. The returnees on arrival, will be screened then taken for the mandatory 14-day quarantine at various designated places.Perhaps the fear that continues to linger is about asymptomatic cases. There is another factor of unreliability of thermal screening. It is clear containing COVID-19 is going to be a huge drain economically,socially and administratively.

 

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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