Shillong: Health experts in Meghalaya on Saturday expressed optimism that the 10-day partial lockdown would help to flatten the COVID-19 curve in the State.
Meanwhile, the State capital wore a deserted look on Saturday as confinement measures for 10 days begun with the aim to break the chain of infection of COVID-19 which has been on the surge.
Besides the Shillong urban agglomeration, which has been the most hit by Covid-19, the
confinement measures are also being undertaken at Jowai and Tura towns from 5 am this morning of May 10.
“We are hoping that this partial lockdown will flatten the curve and if it does not we may have to further imposed strict restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Director Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said at an interactive session with traditional institutions heads.
He said the window period of 10 days would also help the health authorities to find out the need to provide the best possible treatment.
“We have ordered more oxygen, manpower for all the hospitals,” Dr. War said.
Underscoring the need of vaccination, the senior medical official urged the public to cooperate with the government in its endeavour to prevent the spread of this viral infection.
“The vaccine will help protect against the second wave.There is no politics with the pandemic. Cooperation is strength,” Dr. War said
Moreover, health experts said that the best option before the people is to get vaccinated to stop the pandemic and also follow the protocol.
“Vaccine not only protects the person from the virus, but also helps in preventing the possible transmission of the virus to the next person,” Dr Rajeev Sarkar, an Epidemiologist at the Indian Institute of Public Health, Shillong, said.
He said the goal is to achieve a 90 per cent immunity in the community, which is also known as herd immunity where there are less chances of transmission of the virus from one person to another.
Admitting shortcoming in the present preparedness in tackling the pandemic, Dr. War said that the health department is trying to overcome challenges that have been identified.
Infact, one such shortcoming has come to light recently when a COVID victim died after she was rushed to Shillong from Nongpoh as there were no ICU beds in Nongpoh.
Similarly there have been several cases of inconveniences faced by people in getting their vaccines in the over 45 years category. Moreover, the 18 years and above vaccination drive has been stalled for now.
However, health experts said that orders have been sent to the Serum Institute of India and it might take at least four weeks for the vaccines to arrive. The State has placed an order for 30 lakh vaccines.
On shortage of ventilators and other critical medical equipment all over the State health experts said the State has been preparing for the worst possible scenario.
But even then there have been instances that inadequacies have been found in the health care system. War said, the effort now is to identify shortage in oxygen, manpower and get these equipment and manpower as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, efforts are also on to streamline the work between the government and private hospitals so that they can all coordinate to fight the pandemic.