Govt remains firm on not imposing total lockdown
Kohima, July 12: As Kohima reports another COVID-19 positive case of a non-frontline worker on Sunday, anger has replaced panic among citizens here as the Government of Nagaland remains firm in its resolve that total lockdown in Kohima is not warranted.
The COVID-19 positive person detected on Sunday in Kohima is neither a frontline worker nor an inmate of any quarantine centres in the district. The person is a resident of Upland Sector of Middle AG near Sakhrie Park and an employee of the Postal Department, confirmed colony sources.
When contacted, Chief Medical Officer of Kohima, Dr Vezokholu also confirmed that the person is not from any quarantine centres, but an employee of the Postal Department.
With today’s case, so far at least four non-frontline workers have been tested positive in Kohima District – one each at Daklane, Keziekie, Jotsoma and now in Upland Sector of Middle AG.
It is not just the citizens of Kohima that is demanding imposition of total lockdown in the State capital considering the number of non-frontline workers testing COVID-19 positive.
The Kohima District Task Force for COVID-19 had on July 9 recommended total lockdown in Kohima municipal areas for at least a week to enhance the ongoing surveillance, for early detection of suspected cases, to break the chain of transmission and to further prevent the spread of diseases to new areas.
In a letter to the State Home Commissioner on July 9, the DC Kohima, who is also the chairman of Kohima DTF on COVID-19, said imposition of total lockdown might hamper the economic activities but reasoned that it will service the larger interest of the district in containing the disease.
But Principal Home Secretary, Abhijit Sinha IAS, in light of decision reached at a meeting of the High Powered Committee on COVID-19 under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Nagaland dismissed the Kohima DC’s proposal for total lockdown as “not warranted” considering the views of all concerned, including the Department of Health & Family Welfare and all relevant facts.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases among non-frontline workers in the State capital is a cause of worry for all, and not a case to be simply dismissed citing views of DoH&FW, when it is not just the general populace but the very district task force for COVID-19, who have members for the DoH&FW itself had recommended total lockdown in Kohima municipal areas.
Sunday’s detection of COVID-19 case is more frightening considering that the patient reportedly works in the Postal Department and is responsible for delivering letters and parcels. There is also indication that the person might have come in contact with a non-frontline positive case detected in Kohima earlier.
CMO Kohima, Dr Vezokholu told Nagaland Page that the person does not have any travel history to infected areas outside the State, but was tested positive after she voluntarily came forward for testing as the person was part of the contact tracing for current local transmission that is already underway.
The CMO informed that all containment measures by way of sealing the residential area of the patient and contact tracing of the patient’s primary and secondary contacts is being done through active surveillance.
Asked if the link of today’s patient to any positive person has been identified, the CMO said this has been established. She informed that the person is asymptomatic and will recover, but the medical staff is ascertaining the close contacts and which places the person went to deliver parcels.
“Here we are going for early detection as we want to break the chain of transmission and prevent further spread to new areas,” she affirmed.
The high risk contacts will be given priority for testing, she said while saying that anyone with influenza like symptoms and also with acute respiratory infection in the area will be triggered for active surveillance.
She reiterated that sealing of the area where a person is found positive is to strictly restrict movement of anyone, and they have to remain indoors.
‘Sealed area’ demarcated in AG Upper Colony
In view of the detection of a COVID-19 positive person residing at AG Upper Colony, Kohima, Deputy Commissioner Kohima, Gregory Thejawelie NCS has demarcated an area in the colony as ‘Sealed Area’ in order to contain the spread of the disease/infection and for necessary contact tracing.
In an order, the DC notified that all movement of person/vehicles within the defined ‘Sealed Area’ is strictly restricted/prohibited and will be placed under active surveillance.
Demarcated Area: North – Vizadel Residence; East – Circular Road; West – Sakhrie’s Construction Compound and South – Vipi Road Junction.
(Page News Service)