KOHIMA: To mitigate the spread of eye flu infection in Nagaland, the authorities have announced the temporary closure of schools in three districts on August 20. Dimapur, Chumoukedima, and Niuland will see their educational institutions shuttered for a week, effective from Monday to Thursday, August 26, officials confirmed.
The decision to close the schools was made following an alarming increase in reported cases of conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye”. Dr Hoito Sema, the state program officer for the National Programme for Control of Blindness & Visual Impairment (NPCBVI), told the local press that the first case of conjunctivitis was reported by an Assam Rifles personnel returning from leave in July, within the Phek district.
Since the beginning of July, Nagaland has witnessed an unprecedented surge in conjunctivitis cases. A total of 1,006 cases have been reported, marking a historic high in recent records, Dr Sema informed. Among the affected districts, Dimapur leads with a staggering 721 cases, followed by Kohima with 198 cases and Mokokchung with 87 cases.
Experts cautioned that the number of cases is likely to rise further, as several district hospitals are yet to submit their reports. Sema stressed that the situation is being closely monitored and evaluated by health authorities.
The decision to close the schools was made collaboratively by the deputy commissioners of Chumoukedima, Dimapur, and Niuland. In separate official orders, they explained that the suspension of physical classes is a proactive measure and urged educational institutions to explore online alternatives to ensure continuity in learning during this period.
Meanwhile, the All Nagaland Private Schools’ Association (ANPSA) Central has also appealed to the Dimapur administration to reconsider the decision to close schools.
Meanwhile, the disease has also gripped Assam and Meghalaya, and the mounting cases have not only raised alarms within the health community but also in the educational domain. As a precautionary measure, multiple schools and educational institutes have been temporarily shut to prevent the contagion from spreading.