Northeastern states struggle to contain Covid-19 cases

Northeastern states struggle to contain Covid-19 cases, positivity rate

Manipur and Mizoram, where Covid-19 cases and deaths were very low in the first wave, reported a record 1,326 and 807 new cases on Wednesday

Health officials said although the number of cases was low compared to other states, the high positivity rate was worrying. Credit: PTI Photo

Northeastern states appear to be emerging as Covid-19 hotbeds when the rest of the country is easing out restrictions following a dip in cases in the second wave.

The surge in daily cases and positivity rate has, in fact, forced the states in the Northeast to go for fresh lockdown, curfew and other restrictions. 

Manipur and Mizoram, where Covid-19 cases and deaths were very low in the first wave, reported 1,326 and 807 new cases on Wednesday, which was the highest single-day figure so far. The two states resorted to lockdown as their positivity rate stood at over 14 to 16 per cent on Wednesday. 

Health officials said although the number of cases was low compared to other states, the high positivity rate was worrying. "But you have to keep in mind one thing that except Assam, population of other states in the Northeast are low (below 30 lakh). So the number of new cases reported daily is also a concern," said a health department official in Mizoram. 

In Assam, although the positivity rate stood at around 2 per cent for the past 10 days, the state government decided to retain the restrictions on inter-district movement for another week. The government also declared five districts in eastern and North Assam (Golaghat, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Lakhimpur) as containment zones in view of a surge in cases. "Situation in these districts continues to remain a concern," health minister Keshav Mahanta said on Monday. 

Read | Covid-19 cases surge in northeast: Total curfew in Manipur

Assam has been reporting between 1,500 to 1,600 new cases and 25 to 30 deaths daily since July 1. The state at present has over 15,000 active cases.

Director of health in Manipur, K Rajo, on Tuesday said the number of detection of daily cases in the state increased after the health department began door to door testing from July 10. 

According to a report released on July 9 by the Union Health Ministry, 47 districts out of the 73 districts where positivity rate was above 10 per cent are from Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Sikkim. 

Taking a suo-motu cognizance, Gauhati High Court on Wednesday expressed concern over the high rate of Covid-19 cases in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. The rate of positivity in the three states hovers between 6 to 11 per cent.

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