State at an overly critical stage, says H&FW

State at an overly critical stage, says H&FW
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUL 17 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/17/2021 1:25:20 PM IST

Rising number of Covid-19 cases in Nagaland has set alarm bells ringing as this comes against the backdrop of more relaxation (Unlock) of the Covid-induced lockdown as decided by the High Powered Committee (HPC) on Covid-19.

After being in the decline for weeks, the rising curve in the Covid-19 graph has led State Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department express alarm as the “state remains yet again at an overly critical juncture”.

Even on July 12, principal director health & family welfare (H&FW) Dr Neikhrielie Khimiao warned that the state government would be compelled to re-impose lockdown if the Covid-19 situation worsened. Dr Khimiao had said that the unlock process would be carefully observed and, if the situation worsened, current unlock would be reversed.  As a rule of thumb, one threshold for the percent positive being “too high” is 5%. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier recommended that the percent positive remain below 5% for at least two weeks before governments consider reopening.

Weekly positivity rises to 8%: The state witnessed a spike of 689 cases between July 10-16 as compared to weekly cases reported since June 12. It was also pointed out that the weekly sample positivity rate had shot up by 2%- from 6% last week to 8% this week. The four districts that had reported a weekly positivity rate of more than 10% were - Kohima 22%, Mokokchung 17%, Longleng 11% and Kiphire 12%.

According to various reports, more fresh Covid-19 positive cases were reported in Dimapur. There have also been reports of several children some even below two-years old being infected with the virus. 

Hospitalization on the rise: The department further expressed concern that hospitalization of Covid patients were on the rise, with 79 admissions in the past week, the highest since June 19. “Hospital admissions are remaining constant for the last 5 weeks and do not show a decline,” it added. The government “freed private hospitals” from compulsorily admitting Covid patients in Dimapur after which, only CIHSR and District Hospital Dimapur are admitting Covid-19 patients.

Superspreader event in Mokokchung: According to Health department’s weekly bulletin released on Saturday, a superspreader event was reported in Mokokchung after 24 out of 46 contacts were tested positive after attending a funeral service with a positivity rate of 57%.  The department once again warned that superspreading events were the main drivers of this pandemic and advised maximum precautions to minimize such incidents. 

Vaccination need of the hour: Despite several appeals made by the state government to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries were inoculated against Covid-19, the department pointed that over 70% of the population was still susceptible to COVID-19 infection and vaccination needed to be ramped up urgently along with strict maintenance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviours.

From March 2021 till date, only two out of 404 Covid-19 deaths were found to have been fully vaccinated (two weeks completed after second dose), the department said. With the Delta variant in circulation, H&FW advised those who had taken the first jab to get the second dose and to remain “very cautious” till the full vaccination is completed.

State logs 100 new Covid cases, 5 deaths

Nagaland on Saturday recorded 100 fresh Covid-19 positive cases, taking the total caseload to 26576 and with more fatalities, the death toll surged to 524 (including 14 non-Covid deaths but with positivity)

Of the fresh cases, 36 were from Dimapur, Kohima-25, Mokokchung-12, eight in Wokha, five in Peren, four each in Phek and Tuensang, three in Longleng, two in Kiphire and one in Mon. Further, five more patients succumbed to the infection-- two each in Dimapur and Kohima and one in Mokokchung.

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