Officials of Manipur Health department on Friday observed a 5% increase in the infection rate of COVID-19 in the state in the last few days. They blamed the failure on the part of symptomatic COVID-19 infected persons to conduct tests as one of the main factors behind the surging cases of the disease in the state.
Addressing a press conference at the office of the state Health Department in Imphal, the officials alleged that some people who had contracted the virus did not turn up for testing even as they developed symptoms of the disease.
State principal secretary (Health) Vhulunmang, Health director K Rajo, and COVID-19 nodal officers were among others who attended the press conference.
“As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in the state, it has become increasingly common to hear of COVID-19 cases around us. However, there is still a certain stigma attached to the infection which gives people the fear of the consequences,” the officials said. They added that just hearing the word ‘COVID positive’ can make one worry. They added that the stigma is so high that some affected people are actually hiding their health status. “This is the main reason behind the rapid rise in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 among the general population in the state”, the officials observed.
Considering the rapid surge in the positive cases among the general population, the Health Department identified four districts where serious surveillance will be conducted to identify people infected by the contagion, those who might have been infected by it.
State principal secretary (health) Vhulunmang, on the other hand, said that the state government has started implementing the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The state had already announced implementation of a new SOP to contain the spread of the pandemic. Among others, the SOP included formation of committees to create awareness and enforcement of appropriate behaviours to prevent contracting by corona virus at state, district and local levels.