‘Our situation does not demand total lockdown’
Kohima, July 5: Nagaland health officials have put blame on indiscipline and rowdy returnees who are housed in several quarantine centres for the surge in positive cases of novel coronavirus in the State.
Briefing the media today at the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Principal Director, Dr Vizolie
Suokhrie regretted that there has been surge in local transmission of COVID-19 from returnees and underlined the need to strictly implement the protocols and discipline the inmates.
However he maintained that it is too early to press the panic button as there has been no report of community transmission, and that authorities are on contact tracing job to contain the possibility of community transmission.
The top health official said the main task of the Government is to discipline the inmates in the quarantine centres and for this more health officials have been deputed to Peren districts, and more required equipment and kits to Mon district. The department is also sending additional frontline workers to Peren by Monday to assist the health workers there.
Dr Suokhrie did not disclose the place, but he said there was a report of gala party in one of the quarantine centres by the inmates, defying all laid down protocols.
Currently most of the reported COVID-19 positive cases are from Peren and Mon districts.
The Department has written letters to administrations and frontline workers in Peren and Mon on how to discipline inmates and implement protocols in the quarantine centres.
The Principal Director also held a video conference with district administrations and health workers of Peren and Mon, and the Department is closely monitoring the situation in those two districts and all quarantine centres will be strengthened. “If quarantine centres are not disciplined there will be spike of positive cases,” he said. He said quarantine centres have become susceptible to COVID-19 spread.
But he said the Government alone cannot combat the current challenges but needs support from all corners like NGOs, church, village authorities and individuals.
“We have to learn how to live with coronavirus,” said Dr Suokhrie.
Dispelling rumours and false news, he said it is too early to press the panic button and asked people to trust the Government agencies. He said the Government is prepared to tackle the COVID-19 due to pro-active preparedness of the State Government.
“Don’t believe in rumours. We will not mislead the people,” he said.
The State now has the highest number of Truernat machines in the northeast with 29 and one BSL-3, and BSL-2 at Dimapur and another coming up at Tuensang. Since last three days there has been no backlog in BSL-3 at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK). “We are becoming more confident to tackle the situation,” the top health official said.
He said Government has enough medicine, equipment, kits and PPEs to fight the coronavirus.
The Principal Director said coronavirus has come to stay and that the best way to tackle the virus is to live a new lifestyle – disciplined life, and maintain hygiene. He added that discipline and new lifestyle is a must to fight the coronavirus.
Dr Suokhrie further said there was no need for total lockdown of the State in view of the reported transmission in Kohima and elsewhere in the State as officials are on war footing for contact tracing, and in Kohima alone over 400 people have been traced; mostly primary and secondary, adding that those tested positive were limited local transmission.
“Our situation doesn’t demand total lockdown,” he said and added that most of the positive cases are returnees who are in quarantine centres.
On the positive cases detected from Bethel Kitchen and an employee of Kohima Smart City, health officials said contact tracing was conducted and test results were negative, which was a “big relief”. (Page News Service)