D Y Patil Journal of Health Sciences

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75--76

The prevailing situation of COVID-19 in the northeast region of India


Rina Ningthoujam1, Yengkhom Disco Singh2, Manasa Kumar Panda3,  
1 Department of Vegetable Science, College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University, Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Postharvest Technology, College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University, Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, India
3 Department of Environment and Sustainability, CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Yengkhom Disco Singh
Department of Postharvest Technology, College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University, Pasighat - 791 102, Arunachal Pradesh.
India




How to cite this article:
Ningthoujam R, Singh YD, Panda MK. The prevailing situation of COVID-19 in the northeast region of India.D Y Patil J Health Sci 2021;9:75-76


How to cite this URL:
Ningthoujam R, Singh YD, Panda MK. The prevailing situation of COVID-19 in the northeast region of India. D Y Patil J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 May 27 ];9:75-76
Available from: http://www.dypatiljhs.com/text.asp?2021/9/2/75/333770


Full Text



Dear Editor,

Today, the modern world is coping with fear, stress, and worries due to pandemic of COVID-19 around the globe. The mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia was first started in Wuhan city of China at the end of December 2019. Then, it has spread to many countries in uncontrollable manner and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it as deadly pandemic disease on March 12th, 2020.[1] The report of death due to COVID-19 is still increasing and causes a great fall of the economy in high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low-income countries. At present, our country, “India,” is also included among the seriously infected country list by the disease.[2] By the month end of May, 2020, the reported positive case has already reached more than 33,000 and the number of deceased has crossed 1079. However, the number of active cases has jumped to 153,178 and number of deaths to 9900 according to the report from COVID-19 Dashboard June 16, 2020.[3] The Government of India and concerned health departments have been taking up many actions to contain the transmission of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the number of positive cases is rising up every day despite the lockdown was announced on March 24, 2020, and this makes everyone panic and unstable mentality. Few months back, several states of India had already been infected excluding few states of Northeast India. Among the eight Northeast states of India, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Tripura were announced as free COVID-19 states in India. Other three states Meghalaya, Assam, and Mizoram had few cases of COVID-19. However, within a very short time, the number of active cases in Northeast India has spike up. The number of active cases in Northeast India is 6231 and number of deaths is 10 by the end of June, 2020. Among the Northeast states, Assam leads the high number of infected and death cases. Assam has 4158 infected active cases and 8 persons have lost their life. Most of the infected persons have a travel history of interstate and it was confirmed that there is less community transmission till date and majority of the infected patients are asymptomatic. While looking to the present paramount of the rate of transmission throughout India, it is showing comparatively very low in Northeast India.[4],[5],[6] It is a matter of discuss that, in these regions, the transmission was confined to an infected patient only without spreading to his/her family members. Most of this infected patient has a travel history that might have acquired to come in contact with the disease. There may be some reasons for this unexpected occurrence. One reason which may be considered is that Northeast states of India have strictly followed the norms notified by health council authorities, the Government of India and the WHO which also set an example for other states. Other efficient reason may be due to the different food habits consumed by Northeast people. The Northeast region of India is considered as a major hotspot for different biodiversity of plants, animals, and microorganisms. They have unique food style, different culture, ethnic groups, and race. They consume many unexplored vegetables and fruits which are highly rich in different nutraceutical components. The consumption of these foods might have boosted their immune system and it might be another relevant reason for slowing down the rate of transmission from COVID-19. Another promising concept for steady spreading may be due to the intake of excessive hydroxychloroquine. Northeast India is very prone to malaria with a holding contribution of 8%–12% of total reported malaria cases in India.[7] Hence, in early times, doctor used to prescribe hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine and its derivative for any small incidence of mild fever. There is no such specific recommendation that hydroxychloroquine can treat COVID-19 but according to many studies, it is believed that it helps in building up our immune system to fight against the COVID-19. The unique geographical location of Northeast regions[8] may also be another reason for low infection. Most of the regions of Northeast are mountainous and have a higher elevation than other states [Figure 1]. According to the new research and survey published by the journal of Science of the Total Environment, it is believed that polluted places have more chance of spreading the disease.[9] It was found that 78% of deaths occurred in Northern Italy and Spain were affixed to those regions which have the highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO2 is a very harmful gas and leads to the destruction of our respiratory systems. Unlike, other polluted metropolitan cities of India, the environment of Northeast regions are quite clear and free from pollution. This concept can also be considered as a related reason for fewer transmission of disease in the Northeast part of India. These reasons are all opinions and probability for slow transmission and containment from COVID-19 in the Northeast part of India. There is no explicit data that these are the factors. Hence, a proper scientific study is needed for the surety of “Why Northeast India has a smaller number of COVID-19 cases?”{Figure 1}

Acknowledgments

Authors are very much thankful to Professor S. C Panda, former Principal and Dean, Regional Institute of Education, NCERT, Bhubaneswar, and Professor Kunja Bihari Satapathy, Emeritus Scientist, Post Graduate Department of Botany, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, for giving us an enlightened idea to write on such concepts for wider accessibility and knowledge among the nation and to the world.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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