Kohima: Sixteen inbound passengers who were released from Dimapur quarantine centre and had reached Jalukie under Peren district in Nagaland along with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday will be re-tested after “two days”.
Of the 22 fresh cases detected on Thursday, one who tested positive for COVID-19 was sent to Peren district along with 16 inbound passengers who were already tested negative due to “an error of judgement”. The result of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 was declared only after the person had reached Peren.
An official from the health department informed EastMojo on Friday that all 16 passengers who travelled with the positive patient will be re-tested after two days when the “viral load” is high. Viral load refers to the quantity of a virus in an organism and is a reflection of how quickly the virus is replicating.
On Thursday evening, Mmhonlumo Kikon, Adviser IT, Science and Technology, NRE, who is also the spokesperson for COVID-19 told EastMojo over a live show that there was “an error of judgement” in regard to releasing the patient from Dimapur before the test results were declared.
Admitting that there was a “violation” of the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which requires all Chennai returnees to be in Kohima and Dimapur quarantine centres until the COVID-19 test is done on all such persons, Kikon said “When we identified that there was an error of judgement [made by] the frontline worker there on the ground, immediate action was taken”.
After an explanation from the chief medical officer (CMO) in Dimapur, he said that “immediate containment and contract tracing” was initiated to “ensure that community infection does not happen”. He added saying “We are happy to say that there is no threat to community because our government was able to put our system in place. Because of just one error, if it had resulted in community spread then we can say that there is an error which is affecting the community. The danger has been contained”.
While this case is relatable to the incident that took place in Tuensang where Chennai returnee were released form Kohima quarantine centre before the test results were declared—with one of them testing positive initially, he said “A violation of the revised SOP was there and that is the similarity. But there the similarity ends. An error of judgement of one frontline worker led to the incident whereby the medical department immediately asked for a report”.
Not a show cause notice, explanation call but which was sufficient at this relatively short span of time.
When asked if a judicial inquiry committee will also be set up to investigate the matter, he responded “This is an issue slightly different from the Tuensang issue. Therefore, the action was taken- CMO has been asked to report and reply and give explanation. So there is no room in this case to go for judicial inquiry as already the case is very clear and the responsibility fixed on who made the error of judgement. Disciplinary action to that nature has been taken”.
“The agenda and the objective is to ensure that this error of judgement does not spread into the community and does not threaten the live of the other returnees who were travelling in the same bus as the positive case and those who tested negative after coming from Chennai. The concern was not the error committed alone. The concern was to ensure that there is no community spread and there is containment of the spread in Jalukie,” Kikon added.
Dr Vizolie Suokhrie, Principal Director of Health & family welfare added that immediate action was taken and the patient was isolated in COVID-19 ward. He also informed that the contact tracing was completed. “All those who are in our contact radar is put into containment. We are very clear about what has been done,” Suokhrie said.
Meanwhile, the patient is said to be asymptomatic and is in stable condition.