‘All major pandemics saw 2nd wave, be alert’

Morung Express News
Dimapur | October 24

The coming winter months will be critical in determining the fate of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nagaland, as per the state Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Health & Family Welfare. 

The IDSP, in its latest weekly report, released on October 24, cited Europe, as an instance, which is feeling the brunt of the second COVID-19 wave with the arrival of winter “and this time with more infections in the old.”

With respiratory illnesses known to thrive in cold and dry weather conditions and winter in Nagaland marked by weddings, Christmas and festivities, the IDSP called for additional and stronger enforcement of SOPs.

It said, “All major pandemics saw a second wave after around 6 months which coincides with the upcoming winter months. This is a crucial time for the state to enforce all SOPs strictly and immediately.”

Growing detection rate
Among the major updates from the week (October 17-23) included the state reporting the second highest number of cases recorded in a single week, till date. The week saw the addition of 832 cases, beating the previous second highest weekly tally of 716. Further reinforcing the worry of the state transitioning from local to community spread, 467 of the 832 cases were traced contacts. The rest were armed forces- 310, Returnees/travelers- 36 and frontline workers- 19.

Dimapur (627), Kohima (134) and Mon (31) reported the maximum cases during the past week.

Among the traced positive contacts, 52 percent were in the 21-40 age-group, with students comprising 17 percent of it. The report reiterated, “The young people should be responsible to keep their loved ones and the high-risk groups safe,” while adding that in Europe, more infections in the elderly have occurred in the second wave. 

As has been the trend the past several weeks, spread in closed settings like offices, restaurants, bakeries and religious communities continues unabated with household contacts (28 percent) and offices (24 percent) being the two most common settings. 

The positivity rate for the week stood at 18 percent. While emphasising that this is the highest, till date, the IDSP said that the state’s overall positivity rate at 9 percent (as on October 23) was higher than the country’s 7.7 percent. For comparison, it was 4 percent in the last week of August.  

Detection of cases among patients, with no travel history and no known exposure, at flu clinics continues to raise the anxiety level.

From little or no symptomatic cases, patients displaying symptoms and requiring oxygen support have touched 4 percent of the total active cases. 

While the country has paced ahead in the testing department, Nagaland was lagging behind, testing on average 46 per thousand people. The country’s test per thousand increased to 75.2. The recovery rate further plunged to 77 percent during the week from 79.5 percent.  Meanwhile, mortality rate increased to .26 percent from .22 percent as 5 deaths were certified as ‘COVID death’ this week. 

Case distribution   
Overall, traced contacts made up 32 percent of the total confirmed cases. The armed forces were still leading at 44 percent, followed by returnees- 19 percent and frontline workers- 5 percent. 
More than half of the cases are in Dimapur (54 percent) followed by Kohima (30 percent). Confirmed cases with co-morbidities stood at .65 percent and infection among the high-risk groups saw gradual increase.
59 percent of COVID-19 deaths were below 60 years of age, with hypertension and diabetes being the most common associated co-morbidities.
The median age of patients was tipped at 32 years, while males comprised 82 percent of the total confirmed cases. 
The week’s update did not include quarantine violations during the week.