Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today reviewed the Covid-19 situation in West Garo Hills, as the district and the entire western range weather a relatively large increase in the number of new cases and fatalities from the disease.
Cases in West Garo Hills have risen by 350 this month, the highest of any district after East Khasi Hills, while all five Garo Hills districts have seen an increase of 618. The latter figure represents an increase of 36 percent, significantly higher than the 19 percent increase in the same period in Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills.
Of even greater concern has been the nine deaths recorded in West Garo Hills this month; there were just two in the district in the seven months prior. However, the overall fatality rate, at 0.71 percent, is still lower than that of Meghalaya as a whole, which is 0.96 percent.
Sangma reviewed the situation and preparedness in the district in Tura today along with advisers, Director of Health Services Dr Aman Warr, district officials, senior police officers and other officials.
The medical officers informed the meeting of an expected increase in cases with the onset of the festival and wedding season.
Superintendent of Tura Civil Hospital, Dr Menakshi Sangma, said that the Covid deaths in the district have been down to co-morbidities, with the deceased suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cancer, which can all lead to greater chances of exhibiting severe symptoms of Covid-19.
The hospital is also struggling to cope with replacing staff that have to undergo quarantine after completing their routine duties. Transport and storage facilities for medicines “have also not yet been completed”, a press release said.
The District Surveillance Officer, Dr Mukrang Terang said that 37 percent of Covid cases are asymptomatic, while 55 percent have mild to moderate symptoms and eight percent are severe cases.
Around 25 percent of cases are among armed forces/paramilitaries and the remainder civilians, including 80 healthcare workers.
Furthermore, Dr Terang stated that door to door surveillance and behavioural change management awareness campaigns are being conducted in Lower Babupara, Lower Chandmari, RC Road, Braminpara, Mahendra Colony, Sepoy Colony, Proper Hawakhana and Modynagar and will be extended to other areas soon.
Meanwhile, the Medical Superintendent of the Tura Maternity and Child Hospital, Dr Icylda Sangma, said that there is a need to increase the number of beds in the hospital to cater to the rising coronavirus cases among pregnant women as there are only three beds for these patients at present.