DIMAPUR, June 6 - Nagaland�s COVID-19 tally increased to 107 with the detection of 13 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Of 252 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 13 have been found positive, Health and Family Welfare Minister S Pangnyu Phom said in a post on his official Twitter handle.
He said all the samples tested were of Chennai returnees. All the 107 positive cases are active, Phom added. The patients are undergoing treatment in different COVID-19 hospitals of the State.
It may be mentioned here that more than 1,300 people arrived here by a special train from Chennai on May 22. All the positive cases detected in Nagaland so far are returnees from Chennai.
A PTI report from Kohima adds: After the detection of the first three cases on May 25, the figure is climbing with every passing day to reach 107 cases in the State on Saturday.
Talking to PTI, Nagaland Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Kesonyu Yhome said, �The 14-day quarantine period of the COVID-19 positive patients is yet to be over because of which the recovery rate has been nil in the State.�
On how the department has been managing the sudden spurt in positive cases, he said, �The 14 days in government facilities and another 14 days of home quarantine are crucial for us because that gives the State time to prepare all the checking mechanisms for these people.�
�The main concern will begin if there will be local transmission because as of now, no random testing is being done,� he said.
Yhome also said that since the returnees from other parts of the country are still under the government facility, management of the positive cases is much easier than it would have been if they had been staying in their own communities.
He said no report of spread of infection has come to light through departmental surveillance and reports collected from various pharmacies about people buying medicines for flu.
On the existing health infrastructure and human resources to fight the pandemic, the official said as far as the health sector is concerned, Nagaland has never been in a comfortable position.
A mention be made here that with no laboratory testing facility of COVID-19 samples, the State had been sending the samples to Assam and Manipur till the end of May. The BSL-3 lab was set up on May 21, while testing commenced from May 22.
�Though the number of positive cases are increasing and even if it rises up and reaches some level of stability in risk time, we can still manage to contain it,� he said.
�But if there is local transmission and huge increase in positive cases, we cannot say we are prepared,� Yhome said.
The whole idea is to contain the virus within the quarantine facilities so that all those who have tested positive can go back healthy, the Health Secretary said.
He said in order to ramp up manpower, the Government has already approved of fresh appointments considering the inadequacy in the health sector.
While the process for immediate appointment of 27 doctors has begun, selection of more doctors and nurses during this pandemic situation is in the pipeline.
About infected persons, he said that most of the positive cases are asymptomatic and they are all young people.
�We are making efforts to keep them asymptomatic by keeping them in good health by providing vitamins and nutritious food,� Yhome added.