Efforts to inoculate 70 lakh U-18 age group
GUWAHATI: At a time when preparations for inoculating the under-18 individuals are underway, the sudden upsurge in the Covid-19 positivity rate in the past four or five days in the state has worried the Health Department.
The maximum rise is in the Kamrup (M) district.
On October 11 (Sashthi), the Covid-19 positivity rate in the state was 0.58 per cent that rose to 1.53 per cent on October 14 (Navami). It's the highest Covid-19 positivity rate in the state since September this year.
The number of detected Covid-19 positive cases was not that high during these days as the number of tests conducted is less.
On October 11, the department conducted Covid-19 tests on only 46,429 people. The positivity rate was 0.58 per cent.
On October 12, the department conducted Covid tests of 28,954 people only and got a positivity rate of 0.78 per cent.
On October 13, the department conducted Covid tests on 20,653 people and put the positivity rate at 0.85 per cent.
On October 14, the department conducted Covid tests on 13,548 people. And the positivity rate shot up to 1.53 per cent.
A study on the Covid-19 positive cases detected in the past ten days shows that the Kamrup (M) district leads other districts in the state. While Kamrup (M) alone has registered 961 positive cases in the past ten days, Jorhat had 256 cases, 163 in Barpeta, 142 in Kamrup etc.
Worried about the situation, a senior health official said, "If the upsurge in Covid positive rate continues at a time when we are getting ready for inoculating the under 18-group of people, the state is definitely in for a tough time. The government has given some relaxation in the Covid-19 protocol for the festival. However, if people misuse these relaxations, the situation will turn worse. The steep upsurge in the Covid positivity rate in the past few days is not a good sign for the state.
"The Government of India is trying to make emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines among an under-18 group of people. The announcement for such a possibility may come anytime. We have around 70 lakh, under-18 people, to inoculate. That does not seem to be a tough job for us. We can carry out the vaccination drive in schools. We will locate the ones who do not go to school. We can also inoculate children when their guardians bring them for other vaccines."
The Covid-19 protocol has gone for a toss during the Durga Puja. Coming next are Diwali and Chhath Puja. The bye-election in five Assembly constituencies will also draw crowds. If the government does not adopt a stricter protocol during the coming festivals and bye-poll, the situation may escalate further.