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COVID-19: Nagaland has one of the lowest testing rates in India

Covid testing

DIMAPUR, JULY 10: Even as Nagaland sees drop in weekly COVID-19 positivity rate, there are apprehension among citizens and health workers that reduction in positivity rate is due to lesser number of testing in the State.
The positivity rate in the week June 26 to July 2 was 7% out of 8809 samples tested, while in the past week (July 3 to 9), it dropped to 6% out of 7104 samples tested ~ which is 1705 samples lesser than the previous week. The positivity rate remains above 10% in Kohima (10%), Mokokchung (11%) and Wokha (15%).

“7104 samples were tested the past week with a weekly positivity rate of 6%”, said State Health & Family Welfare Department in its weekly COVID-19 bulletin.
In fact, since Health Minister S Pangyuh Phom 19 stated on June 19 that lockdown will continue in Nagaland till COVID-19 positivity rate drops below 5%, the State appears to be in a hurry to achieve the target. On June 19, the positivity rate stood at 9.3%.
Even the State Health Department admits that Nagaland has one of the lowest testing rates in the country.
But the Department attributed the low testing rate to reluctance in naming contacts by a positive case and symptomatic people not coming forward for testing.
“Stigma around COVID-19 has been detrimental to the whole process. We are in the middle of a pandemic and anyone with fever, cold, cough, etc should be treated as COVID-19 positive unless tested and proven otherwise”, it said.

confirmed cases

The Department stated that unless people come forward and test, the virus will continue to circulate in the community and cause surge or deaths when the right conditions are met; the State will continue to have lockdowns and face economic hardships and new variants will come up and circulate undetected.
The bulletin informed that out of the 7104 samples tested in the past week, 405 were positive. Last week, out of the 8809 samples tested, 623 came positive. Nine COVID deaths were reported in the past week.
Of the 405 confirmed cases in the past week, 196 (48%) cases were detected from self-test/random test, traced contacts – 143 (35%), frontline workers – 39 (10%), travelers – 16 (4%) and security personnel – 11 (3%).
Health Department said the most common prevalent symptom among confirmed cases in the State is fever (68%), cough (47%), followed by difficulty in breathing, loss of smell, body ache, etc. Anyone with such symptoms should be immediately isolated and tested, it advised.
Informing that this year, 139 out of 421 deaths (33%) died within 1 day of admission in COVID-19 hospitals, the Department claimed that this signify very late arrival at hospitals with highly advanced symptoms. Thirty deaths were reported from home isolation in the second wave.

With regard to vaccination, the bulletin informed that 69,957 vaccine doses were administered this week, which is the highest number of doses administered in a single week till date.
So far, 5.96 lakh vaccine doses have been administered across the State. (Page News Service)