It Begins Now
It was on December 31 2019 that the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China reported clusters of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province and the novel coronavirus was consequently identified. After almost five months of the virus detection, today on May 25, Nagaland woke up to the news of three confirmed Covid-19 positive cases within the state. Nagaland is now officially on the Covid-19 map after the earlier incident of the first Covid-19 patient that was transferred, tested and treated at GMCH Guwahati. The three patients that were identified with Covid-19 were stranded citizens who returned from Chennai to Dimapur aboard the Shramik Express on May, 22. They were amongst 1477 returnees from Chennai that made the difficult decision to return home despite the risks involved in the arduous journey, all with their own stories and circumstances. Following which, Nagaland citizens have now returned from Haryana and another special train is due from Bengaluru. The situation in Nagaland is similar to states all over the country with citizens returning to their homes and consequently, Covid-19 caseloads have grown as they return from various zones.
The entrance of Covid-19 was perhaps inevitable, however it can be assumed that the state and its citizens are relatively more prepared than the night of April 13 when the first suspected case from Nagaland was confirmed in Guwahati. Through the many failures and trials faced thus far, Nagaland’s tireless workers, be it governmental or non-governmental have improved their efforts and strategies, though only time will tell if the revised efforts will suffice. Nagaland’s BSL-3 Lab has started testing suspected samples for Covid-19 and is planning to test each and every returnee to the state. Quarantine centres across the districts have been more equipped and mobilised, taking in hordes of people and being put to the test. Currently, Nagaland has only three Covid-19 positive patients, a relatively much smaller number than that of most states. The global scenario today is much more grim, despite the emergency war footing initiated for dealing with the outbreak, Covid-19 has reached 216 countries with the world wide toll at 53,04,772 confirmed cases and 3,42,029 persons confirmed deaths as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics on May 25.
As we look forward to the future, we must remain steady in our efforts and not panic or be prejudiced in our dealings with patients and relatives. The real test begins now; we have to be better and sharper just as we have been during trying times in the past. Special care must be afforded to the elderly and persons with prior medical conditions. Now, is not the time to be isolated or divided on village/ward/khel lines, but rather we must come together to provide every effort possible, be it medical, spiritual, lodging, or food. We must ensure to follow protocols and SOPs outlined by officials as we are in a collective fight against the virus. The time has come for us to be united; it begins now.