State

People flout SOPs despite surge in cases

People flout SOPs despite surge in cases
Dimapur district authorities providing mask to a passerby in Dimapur (DIPR File)
DIMAPUR, MAY 9 (NPN): | Publish Date: 5/9/2021 3:07:00 PM IST

 Staff Reporter

 As Nagaland has been witnessing surge in COVID-19 positive cases with at least over 100 cases on a daily basis in the recent past, the public seemed to remain complacent about the dangers of the deadly virus, making them more vulnerable to the infectious disease.

Despite repeated appeals by the State Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) department to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and safety guidelines being issued from time to time, the public continue to flout all protocols. Even after making it mandatory to wear mask in public areas, most people are seen without a mask, and even those wearing one appear to hang mask below chin.

In public places, most labourers or daily wage earners are seen with dirty cloth mask or overused masks (surgical masks/ three-ply mask), which are supposed to be a disposable mask.

A daily wage labour in New Market area, Ramprasad, who was seen wearing an old worn-out mask, said that he couldn’t afford to buy three-ply masks, as it was “very expensive”.

He said he had only two cloth masks, which he wears on alternate days. Though he is over 50 years old, Ramprasad has not been vaccinated. Amongla Tzudir, a housewife, admitted that most of her known circle, including herself forgo wearing mask while sitting together, with the thinking that all was well and safe. Lashikali Sumi, a vegetable vendor, said she uses cloth mask whenever she is out selling vegetables along the roadside. However, she also admitted that she often removes her mask while with friends or when customers were not around. With the ebbing of new cases, large doses of  carelessness and complacency have crept into the attitude of the people, a doctor said.

“Unless we ourselves take extra precaution and follow all safety guidelines, follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, the virus count will continue to surge,” the doctor added. Bendang, a youth in his early 20s, expressed deep concern over the lackadaisical attitude of the people. He said it was not only the common people, labourers or daily wagers but even the educated ones who are seen flouting the guidelines and SOP.

“People think we are immune to the virus, we are not. Why wear mask only to cover your mouth and not nose. Why wear the mask only when you see a police personnel?” Bendang rued.

As published in Nagaland Post on Sunday, state health department expressed serious concern over high positivity rate of 61% in Kohima after random tests were carried out in market areas. Random testing was carried out amongst local taxi drivers, shopkeepers and vegetable vendors, where many had tested positive.  According to the department, out of 122 random samples that were collected from amongst the local taxi drivers 58 returned positive (48% positivity rate) while 70 shopkeepers had tested positive out of 88 samples that were collected (80% positivity).

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