CMO allays Covid-19 fear in Ukhrul

R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 16th Jun: Asserting that Ukhrul district has steered clear of any potential risks of 'community transmission' of Covid-19 so far, chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Kapangring has categorically appealed to all the inmates to strictly adhere to the stipulated SOP in their respective quarantine centres.
Talking to The People's Chronicle at his office chamber on Tuesday, Dr Kapangring said that: "We have not found any cases of community transmission here, which is what we fear most and to avoid this, adherence to safety protocol by everyone is extremely important."
Further allaying unfounded fear, he said that ignorance or lack of awareness is at the root of apprehension among the public in this pandemic situation. "If we all obey the safety rules, then there's really no need for anyone to panic."
"Most importantly, what we all need to do is to ensure that the standard quarantine SOP is strictly followed by all the inmates of quarantine centres at different places in the district, " he said, stressing on the discipline among the inmates.
He continued that as long as the inmates of different quarantine centres behave according to the standard SOP and avoid mixing with one another or entertaining visitors, there is no possibility of transmitting the disease at the community level. Stating that no one, not even the government, has control over the behaviour of an individual in following the safety protocols, he said: "So my earnest appeal to all the quarantinees is to faithfully serve the requisite quarantine period while strictly following the standard safety norms of social distancing, sanitation and wearing of face masks," he said.
"Recently, in some cases inmates who tested positive for Covid19 got their test results after they had been shifted to village/community quarantine centres after 14 days stay at different quarantine centres in Ukhrul town. This has happened because of delayed results and there's a need to scale up the process of testing," he said. Normally, sample collection is done within 6 days of arrival of the returnees, but in many cases, the sample collection has been delayed, leading to delay in the results, he disclosed.
Dr Kapangring said that as per the government guidelines, every returnee has to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine at an institutional quarantine facility and thereafter home quarantine for another 14 days as done elsewhere.
"But since home isolation is not applicable in our district due to lack of facilities, our district has collectively opted for a community/village quarantine, after the mandatory 14 day quarantine," he added. Clarifying on the confusion of quarantine centres, Dr Kapangring said that the district has only one institutional quarantine centre at William Pettigrew College and all other quarantine facilities are either community or semi-community quarantine or village quarantine centres.
He further informed that owing to congestion at the state Covid-19 Care centres in Imphal, currently around 16 patients, including both positive and suspected cases, are being treated at the district hospital which has upgraded the isolation ward to 26 beds from 16 capacity.
Meanwhile, responding to a query regarding opening of new COVID-19 care facility in the district, he said that the district health department has not received any official intimation from the government on the matter.


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