Spokespersons for COVID-19 Mmhonlumo Kikon (left) during a press conference recently

Kohima: As COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Nagaland, the overall positivity rate of COVID-19 in the state is less than 3%, whereas Peren district alone recorded 13% — making it the highest in the state. This was informed by Mmhonlumo Kikon, spokesperson, High Powered Committee (HPC).

“This high positivity rate reflects the not so satisfactory adherence to the quarantine norms and protocols by the inmates. Flouting of quarantine norms and unruly behavior of returnees and not obeying the instructions of Frontline Worker are only aggravating the problems,” he told EastMojo.

Kikon, who is the Adviser IT, Sc & technology, NRE, said that “all returnees should own some responsibility for the good of everyone”. He said that there are cases where some returnees have submitted different names at the point of embarkation, at the Dimapur Railway Station and on reaching Peren. “We are investigating as to how this happened,” he added. Communication was another challenge as some returnees from Peren could neither speak Nagamese or English.

He informed as the spike in cases necessitated the Government to send more manpower to manage the situation in Peren district, doctors and other officials have been sent to the district accordingly. “These decisions will help us bring the situation under proper control in the next few days,” Kikon assured.

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Two persons undergoing home quarantine had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 in the second test. The persons along with 94 others were released from the institutional quarantine after the first test was declared as negative from Dimapur.

In this regard, Kikon said that the returnees were initially quarantined at Dimapur and after being tested Negative through RT-PCR were released after completing more than 14 days in the quarantine centre. In addition , the District Task Force (DTF) in Peren “exercised abundant caution in keeping them for an additional 14 days at Jalukie QC”.

“In these 28 days of quarantine , none of the returnees exhibited any symptoms related/associated to COVID-19 and basing on this they were released,” he said. Despite the release, he said that the Community “took extra precaution to kept them under Community Quarantine”.

While there were exceptions, he said that “all have been accounted for and have been placed in Quarantine centres”. He also said that “authorities involved were following the SOP and it is unfair to put the blame on the agencies involved”.

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He reiterated that adherence to quarantine norms by returnees and observing preventive measures is the only established weapon to break the chain of transmission. Frontline workers have also been instructed to strictly follow the SOPs issued by the State Government from time to time, he said further adding that the community should not compel or insist the frontline workers for deviation from SOP.

He also suggested that apex Community Based Organisation (CBO) can play a significant role in the maintenance of discipline at the quarantine centers and that Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) & NGOs may organise spiritual , counseling programmes and other meaningful activities. Kikon therefore urged all concerned CBOs, FBOs and NGOs to continue their support and extend help to the frontline workers in the management of quarantine centers.

The recovery rate in the state as on Monday was at 36%. With 35 new cases on Monday, the state’s tally for COVID-19 cases spiked to 625, out of which, the total active cases are 382 and recovered cases are 243.

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No community transmission in Nagaland

“Community transmission has not started in Nagaland,” said Kikon. “The cases that we have been seen are only among the returnees at the quarantine centres and a few frontline workers engaged in COVID duty,” he added.

He also said that as per the case definition of local transmission, it has not happened. He then explained that community transmission is when there is no clear source of origin of the infection in the community and it happens only when we can no longer identify who became infected, after being exposed to someone who interacted with people from the originally infected communities. Local transmission indicates locations where source of infection is within the reporting location, he added.

He informed that when the sample test of a person is declared as positive for COVID-19, contact tracing is immediately done and all high risk contacts are isolated and tested. As surveillance teams and Rapid Response Team (RRT) are set up in all districts, he said that Contact tracing and surveillance is done physically as well as digitally by different experts.

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“The contacts and confirmed cases are encouraged to be patient , cooperative and give details during contact tracing when interviewed by health worker , which sadly has been challenging many a times,” he added. He said that capacity building of medical people began since January and health care workers have been trained.

Meanwhile, Kikon informed that there are nine Covid Care Centres in the state with two in Dimapur, and one each in Mon, Kohima, Wokha, Mokokchung, Peren, Kiphire, and Tuensang, which were set up on need-based situation as per the developing and evolving situation.

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