Shillong, May 11: The East Khasi Hills district administration on Tuesday said that from Public Health experts that the actual number of Covid-19 cases in the state could be upto 25 times the numbers recorded.
“This is due to the fact that many cases are asymptomatic, or people are not coming forward for testing due to denial or fear of stigmatization. Hence many silent carriers are likely present and are spreading the virus within the communities and families,” East Khasi Hills district magistrate, Isawanda Laloo said.
According to Laloo since May 1 there has been a sharp and continuous spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths in East Khasi Hills District, with 2098 cases and 59 deaths reported in just 11 days.
According to her this amounts to an average of 191 cases and five deaths per day.
“Hospitals are reporting saturation of beds including ICU facilities. While a majority of the deaths are of those who are elderly or with comorbidities, some are also between 20-50 years of age and with no co-morbidities. And despite a lockdown and curb on movement and activities, the high number of cases reflects widespread transmission. While the mobility lockdown may help contain spread of the virus in public spaces, spread within the family/ close communities is already happening and may rise in the coming days,” the district magistrate said.
Laloo said that everyone should consider themselves to be asymptomatic carriers and follow COVID appropriate behaviour at all times, namely like wearing mask even in one’s own home in the next 14 days.
“Complete home isolation is to be observed by citizens, and no inter-house visits are permitted especially in close neighbourhoods. While shops selling essential commodities are permitted to open in the localities, only one member per household is allowed to come out for purchase of essentials. Time spent for this purpose should be the bare minimum,” the district magistrate said.
She said that 50 percent of cases reported in the last week are of high risk contacts, who are mostly family members, co-workers, neighbours and other known persons of positive cases and hence care should be taken at all times even in homes, community or work spaces.
The district administration also said that persons displaying symptoms of cough, fever should isolate themselves immediately, even if not tested and elderly persons or persons with medical conditions are instructed to stay at home at all times.
“The only evidence-based health approach to stop & kill the virus is through physical distancing, hand washing before touching your eyes, nose and mouth and wearing a mask in public places. The only way to protect the vulnerable population from severe infection and death is through vaccination,” Laloo added.