Health dept accused of lagging amid surge in Covid-19 cases

Staff Reporter
NAHARLAGUN, Jul 13: Following reports of growing numbers of Covid-19 positive cases having been detected in Naharlagun – in G Extension, E, F, C and B Sectors, Police Colony and the TRIHMS – in the last couple of days, many are alleging that the health department failed to take adequate measures to identify and control the spread of Covid-19.
Residents of a rented apartment building in E Sector here, where a total of 14 people were identified as being Covid-19 positive on 10 July, claimed that the health department carried out testing of only a few residents of the building when the majority of the residents of the building might possibly have come into contact with those who tested positive.
The owner of the building claimed that those who tested Covid-19 positive, along with the other residents of the building, shared the same entry and exit area “and there is possibility that more people could have been exposed to the virus than what the health department has claimed because of less people being tested.”
Health department officials, however, said that they tested around 83 persons, out of whom 14 tested positive while another 10 primary contacts tested positive.
“Subsequently, 30 primary contacts tested positive and were shifted to CCC Lekhi,” informed an official of the department.
Meanwhile, the residents of a building in B Sector here, where a Covid-19 positive person was detected last Saturday, claimed that no other person from the building was tested for possible virus infection.
“No health official came here to test any other resident, despite the fact that a positive case was detected from the building. However, ten residents of the same building who had had contact with the Covid-19 positive person earlier voluntarily went to get themselves tested, fearing that they might have contracted the virus,” one of the residents of the building stated.
Another resident claimed that no one from the health department visited the building till Monday to test primary and secondary contacts.
“Only a poster has been pasted at the entrance of the building, prohibiting entry of outsiders into the building,” said another.
This daily was unable to get any comment from the ICR DMO in this regard despite repeated texts and calls.
However, responding to this daily’s queries over the phone, one of the officials of the health department said that the shortcomings “may be due to the fact that staffs of the ICR and the Papum Pare DMOs have been the only ones carrying out field duty.”
“The staffs are limited and exhausted by now. They are still doing the field work, and therefore it is time for the TRIHMS to come on the field and do contact tracing and follow-up duty,” the official said.
The official rued the lack of support from the health department towards the health officials and staffs.