Meghalaya: High positivity rate is a result of aggressive testing, says DHS

Eight out of eleven districts in Meghalaya are reporting a positivity rate of more than ten per cent.

Meghalaya’s Director of Health Services (MI) Dr Aman Warr, on Wednesday, informed that the spike in the COVID positivity graph is a result of aggressive testing of both high and low-risk individuals. 

Assessing the COVID situation in the state, Dr Warr maintained the situation is much better now compared to two months back. 

When asked about the high positivity rate in the state, the DHS said, “If we are to lower the Case Positivity Rate (CPR), then we would go for random testing and most of them would test negative. But that wouldn’t show the real picture,” adding that the department is focusing on high-risk and low-risk individuals to prevent further spread of the virus. 

Earlier, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had stated that although the positivity rate has shown a continuous decline since the past four weeks, “it is a point of concern that presently, Meghalaya is still reporting a weekly positivity of 14.05 per cent from June 28 to July 4.”

Eight out of eleven districts in Meghalaya are reporting a positivity rate of more than ten per cent.

Preparation for the third wave

Dr Warr informed that prefab structures, to treat all COVID patients – both children and adults, are coming up and side preparation is ongoing. “And with these additional beds and facilities, it is a major weapon to combat this enemy,” he added. 

He said that the prefab structures for pediatric hospitals in Tura (West Garo Hills) and Jowai (West Jaintia Hills) will be completed by the end of this month. 

“If we get more pediatric cases, later on, it will become worse for us because the management of pediatric cases will be dicey,” Dr Warr admitted.

However, he asserted that the government is trying to plug any lapses or gaps. “We have sufficient paediatricians and medical officers who have been trained and we will manage,” Dr Warr exuded confidence. 

Vaccinated vis-à-vis non-vaccinated patients

The Director of Health Services explained that the virulence factors of the virus will depend on vaccination. “We have seen that the course of the disease changes automatically with vaccination and with un-vaccinated patients, if it takes a bad turn, it comes out to be worse,” he said. 

Dr Warr added that with non-vaccinated cases when it takes a bad turn, it reaches a stage where treatment becomes meaningless – more like a fish taken out of water. 

Meanwhile, the official has discarded allegations that hospitals accept only those patients with vaccination certificates. 

“When a patient comes, we will not ask whether you are vaccinated or not. For us, we have to treat all types of patients – no matter what, according to the seriousness of the patient,” he clarified. 

Importance of vaccination

Dr Warr maintained that it will be a big relief for the health workers if people have been vaccinated as the course of the disease has already been detected. 

“Vaccination is going to play a big role in the management of this pandemic in our state. Enough has been said about vaccination. Now it is the responsibility of each and every household and individual to judge for yourself and decide accordingly,” he said. 

“Vaccination is not mandatory. We are not forcing anybody to vaccinate but seeing how this disease is going to affect our people, we have tried by all means to put it across to the people that vaccination is the key for us. It is up to you now,” he stressed.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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