The Arunachal Pradesh unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA-AP) on Wednesday warned of community transmission of COVID-19 in the Itanagar Capital Region if there is no ‘behavioral changes’ among the people.

The association said the State is in Stage-II of COVID-19 transmission at present and it may soon be in Stage-III if the people do not follow preventive measures and standard operating procedures.

Addressing journalists at the R K Mission Hospital in Itanagar on Wednesday, IMA-AP president Lobsang Tsetim said Stage-III is that of community transmission, which would make it difficult for the State Government as well as the Health department to contain the spread.

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Dr Lobsang requested the people infected with the virus to provide accurate information about their primary and secondary contacts and travel history so that the health workers can avoid further spread of the virus.

He said the people should be responsible, reminding and respectful for containing the spread of the virus.

“The good news is that around 85 per cent of the people suffering from COVID-19 in the State are asymptomatic,” he added.

“People should avoid visiting the hospitals for minor problems as there are chances of infection. Hospitals are high-risk zones and visit them only in an emergency,” Dr Lobsang said.

Reacting to the protest by residents of Chimpu against turning the proposed MLA apartment into a makeshift COVID hospital, the association requested the people to withdraw the agitation and support the initiative of the State Government.

“The residents should know that no one is immune to the virus. The proposed makeshift COVID hospital will serve our own people,” he said, adding that the hospital will never be a source of infection in the locality as the treatment will be done in a confined area.

He said that the mortality rate is high among elderly people, children, and co-morbid patients.

“Therefore, if we enter into community transmission of the virus, there will be high death cases,” he added.

The association said that the doctors and health workers don’t need special treatment by the state government if they are found Covid positive. Rather, it requested the state government to identify a separate Covid Care Centre.

The association also requested the state government to recruit new lab technicians and nurses to overcome the shortage in various hospitals.

IMA-AP vice-president Kesang Wangdi Thongdok highlighted the mode of virus transmission and the stages of transmission. He requested the people not to panic due to the present situation.

He said the level of panic among the people is so high that they feel the situation is totally out of control.

“This is not the case. The people should learn to live with the pandemic, following all precautions till there is a vaccine to it,” he added.

Dr Thongdok requested the people not to propagate half-truth and knowledge through various mediums of communication.

Arunachal Pradesh reported its highest single-day spike of Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, with 75 more people testing positive for the infection.

Out of the 75 cases, 49 were reported alone from the Itanagar Capital Region which now has 193 active cases, the highest in the state.

The state has a total of 306 active cases while 153 people have recovered from the virus so far and three patients have died.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com