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Five-day isolation for asymptomatic cases: Sampath Kumar

Section 2 (d) of the notification states all asymptomatic patients and high-risk contacts have to quarantine or isolate themselves for five days.

SHILLONG:

Principal Secretary to Health and Family Welfare Sampath Kumar on Thursday said that the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Covid issued on January 10 allow the asymptomatic to isolate themselves for five days, thus virtually giving a clean chit to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.

His statement comes in the wake of reports that Sangma had violated the protocols by attending the Republic Day celebrations at Polo Ground on Wednesday, and also attending office the day before. He had contracted the virus on January 21.

Speaking to the press, Kumar said, “Section 2 (d) of the notification states all asymptomatic patients and high-risk contacts have to quarantine or isolate themselves for five days. They strictly need to continue to wear a mask when around others for five additional days.

Kumar, while laying down the protocols, mentioned that there is a need to de-stigmatise this virus. “The process of this protocol is to also slowly de-stigmatise Covid and adapt to a new reality. Omicron is a reality,” he said.

He said that many people are going for tests proactively, while earlier there was a lot of fear of testing.

He maintained that the best way to take precautions against the Omicron variant of the virus is by getting vaccinated, following all Covid- appropriate behaviour.

“It provides a lot of protection in terms of not turning into a serious case. The deaths that are being reported are from unvaccinated people. That is why we are focusing on vaccination,” he added.

As for the anti-vaccine campaigners, Kumar said that it is their fundamental right to voice their opposition. “I am more than happy to reach out to them and tell them why it (vaccine) is important. That is our duty and we will keep doing that,” he said.

Pointed out that the protests are due to the lack of economic activities due to the various SOPs, Kumar said the new protocols have cut down the isolation period to five days.

“I think we should do away with all this. People who can afford to work should. But those who are sick should stay back and rest and recover,” he added.

Kumar also said that the vaccination rate in the state currently stands at 75 per cent.

ALSO READ: https://themeghalayan.com/wave-after-wave-of-covid-batters-sohras-economic-spine/

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