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With Christmas less than a week away, the Nagaland health and family welfare department has warned of widespread COVID-19 transmission due to unlimited commercial events, parties, and social gatherings.

In its weekly COVID-19 report, which was published by the department on Saturday, the department stated that the weekly percentage of traced cases or contacts from the community has increased from one per cent in the first week of July to a whopping 83% this week.

The report mentions that the State is witnessing social gatherings and events at an alarming scale. Additionally, in these gatherings, COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like social distancing is also not being followed. The winter month of December is quite crucial in containing the spread of the viral infection noted the report.

Also Read: Nagaland: 19,654 healthcare workers listed for 1st phase of COVID-19 vaccination

The high amount of asymptomatic cases in Nagaland can mean that there are undetected silent super-spreaders which is highly concerning. According to the report, cases will manifest only weeks after the event in high-risk people. Additionally, 50% of all traced contacts or cases from the community are of the age group of 21-40 years. The department also said that unlike earlier days, where most cases were from the returnees, the situation has become far more critical as the traced contacts were cases from within the community.

Even the weekly sample positivity rate continues to remain at one of the highest in the country at 105, which is a clear indication that there are undetected cases within the population. Also, people seeking admission in COVID-19 hospitals has increased by 50% in comparison with the previous week.

Dr Vizolie Z. Suokhrie, the Principal director of the department, said that a consultative meeting with various church organisations, municipal councils, representatives of district administration, civil society organisations was held on December 16. During this meeting, the department appealed to the public to avoid partying, picnics, mobile carolling in groups, processions, etc.

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