Dimapur, July 3: Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) has stated that Nagaland has entered Stage-2 of the COVID-19 pandemic and called upon all citizens to do their part to ensure that the State does not reach Stage-3 or the community transmission phase.
Stage-1 transmission is the first appearance of the disease through people with a travel history, with everyone contained, their sources traced, and no local spread from those affected. The number of those infected would be quite low at this stage.
Stage-2 is local transmission, when those who were infected and have a travel history spread the virus to close friends or family. At this stage, every person who came in contact with the infected can be traced and isolated.
Stage-3 is community transmission, when infections happen in public and a source for the virus cannot be traced. At this stage, large geographical lockdowns become important as random members of the community start developing the disease.
Stage-4 is when the disease actually becomes an epidemic.
“Nagaland seems to be heading for a grim Covid-19 situation. All is not well unless and unless something drastic is done; we are in for a bad shape,” said Dr Chumben Murry, MLA, who is in-charge of NPF Medical Cell in a statement.
The NPF said there has been erroneous judgment and actions from machineries responsible of COVID-19 containment; lack of adherence to guidelines by the high risk groups, in particular the returnees and the general public at large as well as some rowdy behaviour and lack of civic sense from some returnees.
“It is likely that some returnees were infected during their quarantine period because safety protocols were ignored. All these do not go well with the serious pandemic that we are facing and its containment. Peren and Mon districts are in grave situation. With the high tension that is running even within the core establishment of the State, the Civil Secretariat, Kohima is hanging on a thin line of wider contagion spread and other districts may follow suit,” it feared.
“Multiple primary contacts of covid-19 positive returnees have tested positive for the disease and with that, Nagaland has gone onto the Stage-II of the pandemic. The gravity of the situation is that, our populace is not very health conscious and awareness also is not optimum and therefore, chances of our state going onto the Stage-III (Community spread) of the pandemic may be imminent. There is no blame game here. None were prepared for such a magnitude of health problem.”
In spite of the “grave erroneous judgment and actions here and there”, the NPF appreciated that the frontline workers as a whole have sacrificed and done their job so far.
“However, inflow of returnees was not well planned may be due to multi-factorial reasons and perhaps the concept of quarantine was not well communicated or perceived. Even more perhaps, proper protective protocols were not followed. The result is that, primal effort on containment has failed. Now that the pandemic has crossed the quarantine barrier and has seeped into the primary contacts, the general public now stands at risk. The call of the hour is that, the general public now will have to become the frontline workers to protect self and others. It is a call of civic duty!” it said.
The NPF suggested that management people should put in effort for mass awareness through IEC materials on mission mode; and general public must impose further lockdown on themselves for at least the next 28 days. “Going out only for essentials with all necessary protective habits – social distancing, wearing of mask and hand sanitization.”
The party also appealed to the public to properly dispose all wrappings that may have come with commodities. “Beware of mingling with family members on returning from outside without changing into fresh clothes and proper hand sanitization,” it cautioned.
Other measures suggested by NPF includes elderly people should be cautioned from going out unnecessarily and preschool children should also not be allowed outside and mingle with other children for the time being; people with pre-existing heart, lung diseases, diabetes, hypertension and compromised immune system like chronic debilitating diseases should take extra precaution; avoid large gatherings like religious devotional gatherings, community meetings for some more time; maintain house-fly free clean environment.
Shops and traders and public utility establishments must strictly comply with guidelines and customers without masks should not be allowed inside such premises. Foot demarcation for social distancing has been forgotten and must be revived, it said
The NPF also reminded that wearing mask without covering nose is like not wearing mask, and also to avoid masks with ventilators valves. Respect guidelines at all times, it appealed.
(Page News Service)