Nagaland health department to intensify COVID-19 testing
Kohima: The health and family welfare (H&FW) department of Nagaland revealed its plans to intensify COVID-19 testing as the positivity rate in the state was increasing rapidly. The state is set to complete one lakh tests in few days time.
Till Wednesday, a total of 60,952 samples have been sent for testing through RT-PCR and results of 59,854 samples have been received. In addition, a total 33,161 samples have been sent for testing on Truenat and the results of 33,088 samples have been received. Through Rapid Antigen Test 3,772 samples have been tested so far.
Principal Director H&FW Dr Vizolie Suokhrie said that the health department is working on a strategy to intensify the testing rate in the state. With over 90,000 COVID-19 tests done so far, he said that it is a good feat for a small state like Nagaland.
While the state has no immediate plans to immediately conduct random testing, he said at any point of time if there is a community transmission, the state may consider random testing. The health department has so far been advocating the voluntary and rationale testing in the state.
Mission Director NHM Dr Kevichusa Medikhru said that Nagaland is yet to reach the stage of community transmission which requires random testing. Although symptomatic cases have been increasing, the health officials said that the state has no plans to conduct Plasma therapy as cases of re-infection are also being reported.
Epidemiological transition in COVID-19 transmission:
During a media interaction, Dr Nyanthang Kikon, nodal officer IDSP expressed concern over a shift in the epidemiological transmission of COVID-19 in the state. The gradual shift of COVID-19 from the younger people to persons above 60 years and the vulnerable group has become a concern for the health department.
According to the health official, this shift from the younger people to the old and vulnerable people indicates that the young people, most of whom are asymptomatic when tested positive for COVID-19 are becoming potential super-spreaders of the virus.
He also warned of post COVID-19 sequela even among the young recovered patients which could affect any part of the body. The health official reiterated that following preventive measures and early detection of COVID-19 cases are important factors to avoid COVID-19 complications
Due to fear of COVID-19, there have been reports of persons taking self-remedial measures such as taking nonprescribed medicines. Dr Kikameren Longkumer, deputy director H&FW said that such self-remedial measures add to the complications, especially for persons with co-morbidities.
Citing examples, the health officials revealed that during post-mortem of some COVID-19 deceased patients, the human lungs weighing over three kg are being detected raising serious concerns.
Dr Kikon also alerted the people to avoid believing false conspiracy theories such as blaming the department and state government for trying to monetarily benefit from the detection of COVID-19 cases. He said that people should not fall into such theories and be more responsible.
Dr Vizolie Suokhrie further added saying that it is the duty of the department to present facts and figures to the public as per the prevailing situations, and that it is working for the welfare of the people.
COVID-19 status in Nagaland:
The total number of positive cases in the State spiked to 8,824 on Wednesday. 6,869 patients recovered so far and 1,840 are current active cases.
As per the severity of symptoms 1,747 active cases are asymptomatic, 73 active cases are mild, 12 active cases are moderate on oxygen, one active case is severe on oxygen, three active cases are critical with oxygen and four active cases are on ventilator.
The COVID-19 death toll in the state increased to 28 after one more death was confirmed on Wednesday. Besides these confirmed deaths, six deaths are not COVID-19 related and another five deaths are still under investigation.
Further, out of 8,824 positive cases, the distribution across various categories of people are: 3,843 cases of Armed Forces/ Police, 1,642 cases of Returnees, 2,906 cases of Traced Contacts and 433 cases of Frontline Workers.