Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
After its detection in China, Covid-19 has spread to all corners of the world, infecting more than 96 lakh persons, with 4.9 lakh fatalities in just six months.
India has 4.9 lakh infections, with 15,500 fatalities. In the Northeast, the positive cases have surged to 9,373 cases, with 12 fatalities in a little over two months. Arunachal has 160 positive cases with one fatality that had a case of extreme co-morbidity.
Analysis reveals that the majority of the Covid-19 cases in the NE and Arunachal were imported into the region through students and workers returning from outside the state. Cases of community transmission have been minimal in the region. There are a few exceptions wherein positive cases are surging in certain areas of Assam, threatening to turn into community transmission. Presently, many areas of Guwahati are in total lockdown.
The positive news is that almost 90-95 percent of all positive cases in the region are asymptomatic and the recovery rates are also much higher. A few encouraging statistics emerge out of the Covid-19 cases: out of the total of 9,373 positive cases, the fatalities are only 12, making a case fatality rate of 0.12 percent in the Northeast, compared to case fatality rate of 3.12 percent of the nation. For Arunachal, with only one fatality, the case fatality rate is 0.625 percent.
Considering the testing rates, Arunachal has collected 21,274 samples, leading to a figure of 13,546 tests conducted per million people, compared to figures of 5,406 for Gujarat and 6,906 for Maharashtra. Presently for India, the testing rates are over 2 lakh per day with 5,371 persons tested per million people. Arunachal has tested 1.4 percent of its population compared to the national figure of 0.6 percent.
Another interesting figure is that the national positivity rate is 7-8 percent, meaning that out of all tests only 7-8 percent is emerging Covid-19 positive. This positivity rate for Arunachal is about 0.8 percent only. It means that Arunachal is doing well in testing rates.
One more good news is the recent approval and sanctioning of antiviral drugs FabiFlu and Covifor for treating Covid-19 patients. Additionally, as per reports, a vaccine may be available as early as September-October.
The positive figures indicate that Arunachal is doing well in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. These figures should encourage the government, the health workers, the administrators, the police, etc, to not let the guard down and continue the good work to prevent community transmission. It is especially important as the nation and the states are opening up from the prolonged lockdowns and restrictions in commerce/business. Opening of lockdown does not mean that Covid-19 has been defeated. Following laid down precautions are the only way to avoid Covid-19 till a suitable vaccine is developed.
Wear masks when going out, keep social distancing of 1-2 metres, avoid large gatherings, and wash hands frequently. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)