Delta variant detected in Mokokchung last month
Health expert says vaccination could play an important role in mitigating third wave
Mokokchung, June 29 (EMN): The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of Covid-19 was detected in Mokokchung during the peak of positive cases in the district in May, informed an epidemiologist.
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is now detected in at least 85 countries and considered as the “most transmissible” and labelled as a variant of concern by World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Covid situation was worst in Mokokchung between May and June, recording highest spike of 164 positive cases (accumulation of two days result) on June 5.
Epidemiologists and healthcare workers, who were on war footing during the peak, said it required a herculean task to bring such a high infection rate under control and would require at least two months to flatten the curve. However, the dedicated medical team was able to bring down the spike within a month.
“During the random Covid-19 antigen card test exercise followed with contact tracing, the result was quite alarming. By May 12, Covid-19 positive cases in the district started accelerating which put our team in a doubtful position,” a doctor said.
He informed that the team took few days to collect specific samples to be sent to the Regional Medical Research Centre at Dibrugarh in Assam for genome sequencing, adding that results received on May 26 confirmed four of the samples were of the Delta variant.
He said that active case finding for Covid-19 exercise conducted on May 31 and June 1 in all the 18 wards proved to be a huge success to curb the infections.
He further asserted that the surging positive cases in the district were able to be brought down within a month because of fast response from the medical team in a pragmatic way with co-operation from all sections. He added that hospitalised patients were less than 5 per cent.
According to the state’s Covid-19 War Room, weekly active case tracker in relation to Mokokchung showed 549 cases on June 12 but it plunged to 300 by June 26.
However, the doctor warned that “we are not out of the second wave; we are in a catch-22 situation”. “We are not celebrating; it is too early to celebrate because if people are not careful, it is going to flare up,” he added.
He also lamented that non-cooperation during contact tracing and reluctance to disclose close contacts created a huge challenge for the healthcare workers, opening up space to miss out a good opportunity to crack down on the Covid-19 infections.
In this connection, he appealed to everyone to co-operate with the concerned authority during contact tracing and also follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Stating that the Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 has been detected in 12 states of India, the epidemiologist said vaccination of eligible beneficiaries and following Covid-appropriate behaviour could play an important role in mitigating the third wave.
“There is a small time frame, a window period to vaccinate all the eligible beneficiaries before the plausibility of the third wave of Covid-19 is triggered,” he said.
Another doctor also asserted that at least 80 percent of the eligible beneficiaries should be vaccinated to prevent the third wave and that there is adequate stock of vaccine in the district.
According to government’s dashboard reflecting Covid vaccination, a total of 50,917 doses have been administered in Mokokchung, which is approximately around 50 percent, said a medical official.