Going back to basics

Things are obviously not looking good going by the number of Covid-19 cases that are emerging one after another each day.

We thought that we were way past the threat of Covid-19 when the number of active cases reached ‘zero’ at one point. But the number of active cases has increased again to 261 as of yesterday.

And when the health ministry on Thursday announced detecting 27 new cases in the last 24 hours, what was startling is going by the case type in Phuentsholing. Of the two cases detected in Phuentsholing, one positive case was a contact, while one was from the community.

The detection of one case from the community in Phuentsholing, therefore, has many people thinking how it could be possible with the town being under continued lockdown and strict restrictions for more than a month and with most people confined to their respective homes. Has the case emerged because few people are still breaching the health protocols despite the lockdown?

However, there is no definite answer.

Similarly, it’s still unknown how the two individuals from Merak Gewog in Trashigang, who were first detected Covid-19 positive on May 19, got infected. 

It is important, therefore, to ascertain and find out, going by the above cases in Phuentsholing and Merak, how these individuals got infected. We must find out the source of the infection so that appropriate measures can then be taken up accordingly so that we can avert such mishaps in places elsewhere in the future.

Another important thing is to ensure how we contain the infection from spreading – how do we minimize the number from spiraling up once a case or two have been detected in a locality. Preparation is, therefore, essential and more importantly so for places and people living in remote parts of the country without or limited infrastructure and connectivity.

Fortunately, for some urban towns we don’t see much of a problem. This is because adequate infrastructure is in place. Even hotels have been rendering services as quarantine centers. However, we cannot have such luxury as we move away from our urban towns. Strict home quarantine is what we may have to then resort to. But such a modality also exposes other family members to the risk of infection.

Another important thing is that we are living in a precarious time. The threat of Covid-19 on our health and wellbeing has increased by double fold. Even health experts warn that the new variant of Covid-19 is more dangerous, more powerful and more virulent than the first one.

Therefore, the need for enhanced vigilance and our basic response to the pandemic such as physical distancing, hand-washing and using facemask has become very important. Even health experts affirmed that human behavior is still the major factor or cause for a spike in coronavirus cases.

They say the relationship between those precautions and cases of Covid-19 is clear, and that in areas where fewer people are wearing masks and more are gathering indoors to eat, drink, observe religious practices, celebrate and socialize, even with family, cases are on the rise.