Editorial

Most infective threat

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/26/2020 1:10:59 PM IST

 After three were confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Monday another also testing positive for the virus on Tuesday, the tally of COVID-19 cases in Nagaland has shot up from zero to 4 and there is no guarantee that the tally would again shoot up. All those tested positive for COVID-19 had arrived Dimapur from Chennai on May 22 by the special Shramik Train. Though there was already a COVID-19 case from Nagaland reported by Assam finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on April 13; yet the case was placed under Assam since the patient had been admitted to Guwahati Medical College Hospital. The news on May 25 reporting three COVID-19 cases and then on May 26 with another, was a big blow for many, especially those who were under the impression that so far, the state was Green and safe. The government of Nagaland provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs.4000 to each student and Rs.10,000 to those who chose to remain in states where they are located. So far around 4000 stranded citizens of Nagaland have arrived and around 15,000 are most likely to return. As per the information from Data from the state’s COVID-19 Empowered Group, at least 68.32% of the around 18,300 stranded persons from the state, come from Red Zones(areas or the hotspots classified as those with the highest caseload). Even before arrival of the stranded persons, fears were rife about the impending consequences, especially as many were from the Red Zones or Hot Spots. This proved true when the four confirmed cases replaced the ‘Green Zone’ tag with orange or so to say. The return of the stranded people or migrant workers is a huge challenge for both the Centre and states involved. The centre had arranged the special Shramik trains from New Delhi to various states. Thousands of people from north east travel by the same train and without any choice to maintain social distancing has also placed many of them at risk.  In most cases across several states in India, arrival of stranded persons have led to spike in COVID-19 cases. This has also been evident in the some north eastern states particularly Assam, which has  been experiencing a spike in COVID cases after arrival of stranded persons and which has taken its total a little above  600  as on May 26. The pandemic is perhaps the first ever in living memory where millions are being quarantined and as in the case with Assam, many asymptomatic and inmates transmitted the virus to others. There is also need to ponder over the tests done in states particularly in the light of reports across several countries which have found that test kits made in China were unreliable. If that were so,  then it could also lead to thousands getting infected in a matter of days if those tested negative due to unreliable kits, were actually positive for the virus. The other point that may work against measures to contain COVID-19 is regarding laxity in adhering to physical or social distancing norms in quarantine centres. Many who are deployed to supervise quarantines  are there by circumstances and so would find it difficult to cope up . However, with the Nagaland government deciding to test all inmates at quarantines, it will be a significant step towards testing , tracking and treating.

 

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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