The Nagaland health department warned that due to unlimited commercial events and parties and avoidable social gatherings, the state is at risk of widespread community transmission of Covid19.
The department, in its weekly Covid19 report published on Saturday, said the weekly percentage of traced contacts or cases from the community has increased from one per cent in the first week of July to 83 per cent this week.
It said the state is witnessing events and social gatherings on an alarming scale where Covid19 appropriate behaviours are not being followed. It said December/winter month is very crucial in containing the spread of the infection.
Expressing concern that high asymptomatic cases in the state can mean that there are undetected silent super-spreaders, the report said cases will manifest only weeks after the event in high-risk people.
It said 50 per cent of all traced contacts or cases from the community are in the age group of 21-40 years.
The department cautioned that uncontrolled spread among this age group is increasing risk in the higher age groups.
Unlike earlier days, where most cases were from the returnees, the department said the situation has become more critical as the traced contacts were cases from the community.
“The situation is more alarming unlike earlier days when cases were mostly confined within the quarantine centres,” the department said.
It expressed concern that the weekly sample positivity rate also continued to remain one of the highest in the country at 10 per cent, indicating that there are undetected cases in the population.
The report stated that the people seeking admission in Covid19 hospitals have increased by 50 per cent from the previous week, signifying increase in moderate, severe and critical cases and undetected transmission in the community.
Principal director of the department, Dr Vizolie Z. Suokhrie said a consultative meeting between the department and various church organisations, civil society organisations, representatives of district administration and municipal councils was held on December 16.
The meeting appealed to the public to avoid mobile carolling in groups, processions, picnics, partying and various forms of mass entertainment events.
It also advised deferment or postponement of conferences, jubilees, convocations scheduled during the festive season.
The meeting also advised the public to follow all SOPs at weddings and staggered devotional services to minimize overcrowding.
Stating that if organising Christmas and New Year community feasts is unavoidable, the guests should be served take-away packages and they should follow social distancing at all times.