Grim realities engulf the world as coronavirus infection continues unabated in spite of top level global efforts to control the disease. Against the backdrop of a global average of 6.10 fatality rate (recheck this data) and all India tally of over 28000 deaths, Northeast India surprisingly records the lowest figures in the country. Credit to this feat is being given to timely detection of cases, disciplined ways of life, extensive contact tracing and effective clinical management to ensure low mortality rate. In addition to this, better diet and traditional food habits are also being projected as the region’s secret in effectively fighting against COVID.
Although COVID is now witnessing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the fatality rate is seen to be less than one per cent in the region. Interestingly, four Northeastern states including Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Mizoram have zero percent fatality rate, while four others have less than only one percent death rate -Tripura (0.19), Assam (0.23), Arunachal Pradesh (0.46), and Meghalaya (0.48).
The stark rise in the cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the world and now in India which has crossed one million marks has raised numerous doubts among people. Questions like whether or not a nutritious diet can prevent an individual from contracting the infectious disease are doing the rounds. There is no denying that having an optimally functioning immune system to safeguard against the disease has now become more important than ever. In NE, it is being said by the people in the know that diet is a critical cog in fighting the deadly coronavirus.
According to Dr. Prof. (Dr) P.K. Goswami, Director, North east institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy (NEIAH) Shillong, traditional food habits are helping people of Northeast fight against the virus. “Things like green leafy vegetables and tea add efficacy to the human immune system. Less pollution and low density population are other factors which help to keep a check on the cases here,” notifies the professor.
Mizoram’s plain and nutritious food a game changer
Mizoram’s no COVID19 mortality status can be attributed to the discipline of its people and the combined efforts of the people and the Government. The sense of ‘discipline’ among the people of the state allowed the administration to successfully execute all the measures suggested by a special task force constituted for the sole purpose of curbing the spread of the virus. The nutrition based diet also played an important role in building up immunity.
Mizoram Health department Spokesperson on COVID-19, and State nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and epidemiologist Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma informed that most of the cases in Mizoram are mild in nature and the state has not registered a single death.
“Timely and early treatment, well disciplined people and of course diet (people of Mizoram mostly prefer plain and nutritious food) did the wonders. Better quarantine facilities, an overactive local task force which keeps an eye on every movement also helped. But in general people nowadays don’t go out, unless absolutely necessary,” he added.
Sikkim pegs its fight on better healthcare and discipline
Sikkim meanwhile gives preference in better health care facilities, well disciplined people and proper COVID19 management. Though no death has been recorded, the state government of Sikkim has declared a week-long lockdown as the number of COVID-19 cases started to climb, especially in the eastern district. The Himalayan state has merely 300 cases with over 200 active cases and no death has been reported so far.
“None of the patients are kept in ventilators and very few of them are kept in high frequency nasal oxygen. Currently everyone is improving. We are prescribing AYUSH medicine and encouraging better food habits for immunity booster,” informed Director-General cum Health Secretary Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia.
The fight against the pandemic across the country is now a concerted and collective endeavor by people and administration alike. To make the process more wholesome the centre has strongly supported the strengthening of the medical care infrastructure in the country including the northeastern states to combat COVID-19.