Kohima: Kohima: COVID-19 positive cases continue to rise in Mon district. Deputy commissioner Thavaseelan K told EastMojo that the four-day total lockdown which came to force on Wednesday, will be extended further till contact tracing of COVID-19 positive patients is completed.
Out of the 16 new COVID-19 positive cases reported in the state on Saturday, 12 persons are from Mon district. The district has made a policy to test all medical and non-medical frontline workers regularly. The district went into total lockdown after a policeman tested positive for COVID-19 in the TrueNat test, after which his sample was sent for RT PCR confirmation.
Of the 29 samples sent to Dibrugarh for confirmation from RT PCR machine, nine police personnel and three returnees, two from Chennai and one from Mizoram tested positive for COVID-19. So far, Mon has reported 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19, all of whom are asymptomatic.
The deputy commissioner said that police personnel deployed at the quarantine centres were directed not to leave their place of duty under any circumstances. “The moment they step out it, it will be in another quarantine facility where they will be tested and quarantined for 14 days and then be tested again,” he told EastMojo over telephone.
Terming it as “unfortunate”, he said that some police personnel have violated the directive and have gone home, visited friends and shops. He said that when one police personal tested positive on the TrueNat test, contact tracing was done and “immediately put the district on total lockdown”.
“We will not lift the lockdown and will be extended for another seven days till we trace the last person, isolate them and test them twice,” said the deputy commissioner. He revealed that the places where the COVID-19 positive patients have visited were declared as containment zones in the town areas. He added that the main focus is now on its containment strategy.
However, some people who came in touch with positive patients have also moved on to other sub-divisions. He said that efforts are on to trace all contacts. After tracing, they will be put in isolation and shall be tested for COVID-19 twice till both tests results as negative, he informed.
DC, SP, CMO in self-isolation as matter of precaution
As a matter of abundant precaution, the deputy commissioner (DC), superintendent of police (SP) and the chief medical officer (CMO) are in self-isolation following the incident. “We [the DC & SP] were in close proximity of one police jawan who was in proximity of a jawan who tested positive. The jawan with whom we were in proximity with, tested negative on June 25. But as a matter of abundant precaution, me and SP are both self-isolating till the second test of the jawan also comes as negative,” he said. He added that the CMO is also in self-isolation.
Despite being in self-isolation, he said that it is a 24×7 work-from-home rather than being physically present at the office. “We meet several people daily. So we cannot afford to take the risk, which is why we are working from home for two-three days. We will get ourselves tested on Monday or Tuesday,” he added.
He also said that the offices are in close coordination despite them [DC, SP, CMO] being in self-isolation and further planning are done in consultation with the medical department.
He also said that following the policy for frontline workers, both him and the SP were tested for COVID-19 and their results were declared as negative on June 17 but they will be re-tested.
The deputy commissioner also said that the minister of transport, civil aviation & railways and land resources, Paiwang Konyak, who is also the minister-in-charge of the district has been supporting and helping them.
All active cases related to the quarantine centre:
Out of the 35 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Mon, nine persons are frontline workers. He said that all these cases are associated with the quarantine centres. Speaking about the 12 fresh cases, he said that nine are police personnel and 3 are returnees –two from Chennai and one from Mizoram.
Of the two Chennai returnees, one is male and the other is female. He said that the female returnee reached Mon on June 12 from Dimapur and was tested for COVID-19. As her sample tested positive in the TrueNat machine, it was sent to Dibrugarh for further confirmation. However, the first test result was received as “inconclusive”. So a fresh sample was sent and it confirmed to be positive, he said.
As for the male returnee, he said that the person was tested as negative while in Dimapur but upon re-test, the person was confirmed as positive. The deputy commissioner said that this could be due to breach of social distancing norms.
The third returnee, who returned from Mizoram, had returned to Mon after almost thirty days of institutional quarantine in Dimapur. He said that that a female returnee was brought to Mon by separate vehicle along with another inbound passenger. Since Mon district has made it mandatory for all returnees to undergo 28 days of institutional quarantine and undergo COVID-19 test, he said that both returnees were sent to the hospital. Although both samples were tested as “low positive” in the TrueNat Test, he said that one among them was confirmed as positive after the sample results were received from Dibrugarh.