Shillong, June 12: Former Meghalaya Home Minister Robert G Lyngdoh on Friday suggested that the state government should disclose names of COVID-19 positive patients, and the location they arrived from so as to ensure contact tracing is done more efficiently.
Lyngdoh said that the responsibility to identify primary or secondary contacts should shift from the health department to the public.
“If the government has the logistical support to identify all the people who have come in contact with a particular COVID patient, then perhaps it is okay. But when we have so many COVID patients and the number is growing, the ability of the government to follow up on each and every patient becomes difficult,” he said.
He suggested the government name the patients infected with the virus so that people who have come in contact with the patient can identify themselves.
“Shift the responsibility from the health department to the public because of the limitations the health department faces. Then it is their responsibility to get in touch with the health department rather than vice-versa,” he said.
The former MLA added that normal medical ethics will not play a role in a pandemic, since the situation is ‘abnormal’.
He also said that the government should enlighten the public on all aspects of the virus. ”I think a proper capacity building has to be done first so that the public in general know what the virus is, how it spreads, how long does it last in the body, how can they protect themselves,” Lyngdoh said.
He mentioned that although he doesn’t think Meghalaya is in a community transmission stage, people are scared because they don’t know what it means. “This has to be explained,” the former MLA stressed.