Editorial

Hard facts

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/27/2020 1:16:10 PM IST

 With nationwide tally of Covid-19 cases having crossed 1.5 lakh as on May 27 with states like Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura and Manipur reporting a significant rise in their numbers amid the large-scale return of migrant workers from other states, the spectre of further spikes when more arrive states is real. Nagaland has witnessed a spike by five COVID-19 cases on May 27 taking the state’s tally to nine COVID-19 cases. As per reports of Indian Railways, it has ferried over 44 lakh migrant workers and stranded people on board 3,276 ‘Shramik Special’ trains since May 1. There have also been few confirmed COVID-19 cases from passengers travelling by air .After air travel was relaxed, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, had said an additional 41,673 people had travelled to their home states via flights till Tuesday. Several states have been attributing the increase in their tallies to the arrival of people from outside in special trains, being run since May 1 to ferry migrant workers and stranded persons to their respective states, and special international flights that began on May 1 to bring back stranded Indians and expatriates from abroad. Besides, domestic flights have also begun since May 25, in a phased manner. Several states have decided to toughen up the quarantine rules for people returning from various parts of the country via trains and flights. This would translate into placing all returnees to institutional quarantine centres and not self-quarantine at home. Other experts flagged there is a need for more intense surveillance and monitoring in areas where migrants have returned to contain the outbreak. Having witnessed a kind of backlash after opening of the floodgates and in a knee-jerk reaction so as to control the fresh spike in cases created by the mass movement, several states announced mandatory institutional quarantine on arrival for all. India is now among the ten worst-hit countries by the novel coronavirus and several experts have attributed the surge in cases to easing of travel restrictions and movement of migrants besides enhanced testing capacity. According to AIIMS Director, Randeep Guleria, the present rise in cases has been reported predominantly from hotspot areas but there is a possibility of further rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the coming few days due to increased travel. He said those who are asymptomatic or are in a pre-symptomatic stage can pass through screening mechanisms and may reach areas where there have been minimal or less cases. He felt the need for more intense surveillance and monitoring in areas where migrants have returned to contain the spread of the disease. The point that needs to be stressed with regard to handling of the arrivals, is for the state government to assess the ground reality on the ground with regard to the district institutional quarantine centres. It is not a time for blame game, since people and the government were not prepared to handle such a crisis. However, the state government has much to do with regard to correcting the drift and ensure that what it has to do is done and also to bring more clarity on the Standard Operating Procedure(SOP).The worst is not over and COVID-19 cases are going to rise much further and this is the most worrying factor.

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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