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Nagaland weekly COVID-19 cases fall for first time this month

Impact of total lockdown: State Health Dept

DIMAPUR, MAY 29: In a small glimmer of hope, Nagaland, battling the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a month now, is showing signs of flattening the curve.
The State, which saw increasing weekly spike since the last week of April, with weekly positivity rate of 23 to 34%, has for the first time recorded a decline in the number of new cases this week.

Over the past 7 days (May 22-28), Nagaland recorded 1622 cases with a test positivity rate of 21%. Last week, the weekly number of cases was a record 2062.
State Health authorities put down this declining trend on the impact of imposition of containment zones (from May 5 in Kohima & Dimapur) and total lockdown in the State from May 14.
“Daily cases usually decrease two weeks or more after a lockdown and there has been a small decline but it has to be sustained with more measures for a full 28-day cycle. Decline has been more in Dimapur,” said the Weekly COVID-19 bulletin issued by the State Health & Family Welfare Department.
The full 28-day cycle will end on June 11 – till which time the State will be under total lockdown.
However, the weekly death toll saw a huge spike with 84 deaths reported this week. Nagaland death rate is 1.56%, which is much higher than the national average of 1.16%.
Health authorities explained this unusual spike as: “Deaths always follow a week or more after increase in cases and is expected to plateau in a week unless there are no new infections.”
Out of the 84 deaths, 21% of deaths happened within 24 hours of arrival to a hospital signifying arrival with very advanced symptoms, said the weekly bulletin. Ten deaths were reported from home isolation.
While the lockdown is yielding the desired results, health workers say it is too early to rejoice and think that the State has turned a corner.
“It might be a bit premature to call this a decline. The lockdown is the biggest reason for this dip. We will have to wait and see how the situation is in the next 2-3 weeks at least”, said a doctor working in a private hospital at Dimapur.
But it cannot be denied that there has been significant decline in sample positivity rate in two of the most affected districts in the State – Dimapur and Kohima. The positivity rate in Dimapur has dropped from 34% recorded last week (May 15-21) to 21% this week (May 22 to 28), while in Kohima it has seen a fall from 33% to 23%. However there has been an increase in number of districts with more than 10% weekly sample positivity rate. The highest positivity rate is in Zunheboto District at 25%.

It also cannot be overlooked here that the number of samples tested this week was 8279, as compared to last week’s 9811 samples tested.
(Page News Service)