Principal director of H&FW Dr Vizolie Suokhrie and other health officials addressing a press conference on Sunday

Kohima: Nagaland health officials have expressed concern over the increasing number of COVID-19 cases among persons through contact tracings.

With the existing lockdown relaxations, concerns have been raised over the failure of a large section of people for not following COVID-19 safety protocols.

Addressing a press conference at the directorate on Sunday, principal director of health and family welfare Dr Vizolie Z Suokhire said that with the relaxation of the lockdown, there is an observation that certain norms around COVID-19 are not been followed. The new lockdown relaxations came to effect on September 1.

“People feel that the pandemic is over. In the towns where there are movements, social distancing is like an almost forgotten thing and people [either] don’t wear masks or wears it the wrong way,” he said. Dr Vizolie also expressed concern over vehicular movements, particularly among the taxis where social distancing is ignored.

With the surge of COVID-19 cases through contact tracing, the health official said that it is a ‘worry’. As per the weekly bulletin issued on Saturday, there is a spike in COVID-19 cases among traced contacts. This week saw an increase of cases among traced contacts by 1% as it touched 19%, as compared to 18% last week.

From September 1 -5, Nagaland has reported 178 new cases out of which 68 are persons through traced contacts, 53 are armed force personnel, 33 are returnees, and 24 are frontline workers.

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The health official said that Nagaland remained in a green zone for around three months. With the arrival of the first special train by May end, COVID-19 cases were detected in the state. Till date, returnees comprise 32% of the total confirmed cases.

While the initial trend of COVID-19 positive cases was among returnees, cases among the armed force surpassed it. Till Saturday, a total of 1745 armed force personnel tested positive for COVID-19 out of which 218 were active cases. Armed forces personnel comprise 42% of the total cases.

This was followed by asymptomatic persons testing positive for COVID-19 when persons required to attend the State Assembly monsoon session were tested.

The health official said that this was followed by cases among the frontline workers, and then the contact tracing. So far, frontline workers comprise 7% of the total cases. Comprising of 19%, positive cases among the traced contacts continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases.

As per the health department, over 50% of infection among traced contacts are happening at workplaces/offices. Around 40% of the infections are happening at households, around 4% at gatherings, around 3% at hospitals and 1% through transportation.

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The 3 C’s and 3 W’s

As the present situation shows that there is a spike of COVID-19 cases through contact tracing, Dr Vizolie said that there is need to be more careful and be proactive to the preventive measures.

While taking care and adapting to a new normal life, he said that one must avoid the 3 C’s and follow the 3 W’s. The three C’s that needs to be avoided are crowded places, close contact settings, and confined or enclosed spaces. The three W’s that must be followed are wearing masks, washing hands and watching distance.

He also alerted that with a seasonal type of flu which is coming, it is time to really practice the safe practices. He added that new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for testings, discharge, quarantine and isolation will soon be notified.

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