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State Health Dept issues COVID-19 alert ahead of Christmas festivity

Covid advisory

Controlling pandemic will depend on December festivities
More social events always follow cases from community
Increase in positivity among Church contacts and Bank staff

DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 12: With Nagaland recording one of the highest COVID-19 sample positivity rates in the country, the State Health & Family Welfare Department on Saturday issued alert that the high positivity rate, especially at Dimapur and Kohima, could mean many undetected cases roaming unaware in the society.

“The only way to curb this transmission is to strictly stick to all personal safety measures of 3W’s (Wash hands, Watch distance and Wear mask) and avoid social gatherings and events,” advised the State Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme in its weekly COVID-19 bulletin.
Stating that December festivities will be vital to controlling the pandemic in Nagaland, health authorities reminded that more social events and gatherings always follow later with cases from the community. It advised organizers of social events, sports events or any gatherings to take responsibility of the danger such activities pose to the society.
“Transmission from such events will manifest only days to weeks later when the infection reaches the high-risk groups in the form of severe cases or deaths,” the bulletin warned.
Health authorities said sample positivity rate continue to remain high at 10% signifying undetected cases in the community. Dimapur (13.4%) and Kohima (10.6) have the highest sample positivity rate in the State. The weekly positivity rate is 15%.
In the past week (Dec 5-11), 329 new cases and 3 deaths were reported in the State. Kohima reported the most new cases at 217 and Dimapur – 71.
The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the State so far is 61 (as certified by the State Death Committee as per ICMR and WHO ICD 10 guideline). Diabetes, Hypertension and Chronic Kidney diseases are the most commonly associated co-morbidities among deaths. 64% of deaths are below 60 years of age and 18% of deaths do not have any known co-morbidity/disease.
The bulletin revealed that 30% of deaths happened within 48 hours of coming to the hospital. This, it revealed, signifies patients coming to seek healthcare very late leaving little hope for survival.
“Timing of the few available treatments like Oxygen and steroids in COVID-19 is very critical for survival,” it stated.
The most affected age group among the traced contacts is 21-40-year age group, who, Health authorities said, could be inadvertently spreading the virus to the higher risk groups. This, they said, is evident by the constant increase in positivity among the 60 plus age group (6% of traced contacts).
A major worry is that 67% of all cases are from traced contacts within the community in the past week.
The COVID bulletin showed that household (29%) and workplaces (24%) are the most common places of infection. In most cases, office goers have brought the infection home, it said.
There is also an increase in positivity among Church contacts and Bank staff, revealed the bulletin.
The data of high household contacts, office goers, prison contacts and the recent spread among bank employees clearly points toward “living room/closed space spread” and is a reason why COVID-19 is increasing, the bulletin said.
Informing that positivity in Flu clinics continue to increase, Health authorities expressed worry over the development “as these people do not fall under contact tracing.”

Flu clinic positivity among traced contacts has increased to 12%, it informed.
The most common presenting feature among symptomatic cases in Nagaland is fever (76%) followed by cough (50%).
Meanwhile as per categorization of cases, out of the total 11,634 confirmed cases (as on Dec 11), 40% of cases are from Armed Forces and security personnel, followed closed by Traced Contacts at 39%, Returnees/Travelers – 16% and Frontline Workers – 5%.
(Page News Service)