Kohima: Amid reports of residents refusing to get tested for COVID-19 during random sampling, the Nagaland government on Friday said that refusal to do so is violation of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
Government spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon, during a press conference on Friday, said that refusing to get tested for COVID-19 may mean that the individual is indirectly involved in spreading the COVID-19 infection.
He said that COVID-19 testing in the state has increased in the past three weeks from around 400 in the first week of May to 1,400 in the past week. Kikon also said that the High Powered Committee (HPC) has decided to extend lockdown in the state till June 11 on the advice of the medical department.
In this regard, Dr Nyanthung Kikon, the nodal officer for Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme (IDSP), said that the health department presented its findings which included monthly testing, positivity rate, and so on. He said that May has recorded the highest number of tests conducted at 28,880.
Following the total lockdown, he said that the positivity rate in the state saw a decline from 34% to 21%. “However, the rate is much higher than the expected. The desirable positivity rate is below 10%,” he added.
Further, the health official said that since the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, two cycles of the incubation period is taken into consideration to have the full impact of a lockdown.
HPC spokesperson Neiba Kronu added that the extension of the lockdown with existing guidelines was made taking into account the high level of COVID-19 positive cases in the state and as per the feedback received from all the District Task Forces (DTF) and the health department.
Kronu said that the HPC also decided that over and above the 15% of LADP fund earmarked for common pool activities, an additional 10% will be kept aside for COVID-19 related expenditure excluding those earmarked for iconic projects for COVID-19 related expenditure as per the requirement of the respective DTFs.
He also said that to check the spread of the virus in rural areas, a system of community surveillance has been put in place. The DTFs will be taking steps to strengthen the Village Task Force, Village Disaster Management Authorities which will remain operational under the supervision of the respective DTFs for effective management of COVID-19 in the rural areas.
He said that the ongoing vaccination drive will also be aggressively be implemented across the State where all Village and Ward / Colony authorities may be mobilized to organise suitable slots for vaccination in order to streamline the on-going vaccination drive. There are 612 vaccination centres across the state according to the state government.
Further, the HPC has decided to request all legislators who have been assigned to the districts to monitor effective measures to prevent and control COVID-19 to go their respective districts to take stock of the situation.