CNCCI writes to Nagaland CM over lockdown and possible third wave of Covid-19
Dimapur, June 28 (EMN): The Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNCCI) has expressed its concerns related to the going lockdown and suggested measures to avoid a possible third wave of the Covid-19 in the state.
In a letter to the chief minister, dated June 24, which was made available to this newspaper on Monday, the CNCCI wrote that the business community has been working with the government agencies in controlling the spread of the virus during both the first and second waves besides ensuring availability of commodities across the state.
The confederation wrote that Covid cases in the state could have been controlled and averted prolong lockdown had the government restricted inter-state travel through road and rail, and not just for air travellers during March and April when assembly elections were held in Assam and West Bengal.
Questioning the decision of the High Powered Committee (HPC) to repeatedly extend lockdown (till June 30), it said long term measures like categorising zones into red, yellow and green at the lowest village and colony level based on positivity rate and review every fortnight. It said those in yellow and green zones should be kept away from the purview of lockdown, adding that it is illogical to implement measures used in congested metropolitan cities in Nagaland which has only about 20 lakh population spread across a vast area.
It expressed concern that prolonged lockdown could cause more harm than good as thousands of daily wage earners and small businesses have been pushed to the edge of hunger, closure of business, debt trap etc. It therefore suggested at least three business days in a week from 6 am to 2 pm to avoid a possible catastrophe.
The CNCCI also displeasure over harassment meted to out to the business community involved in providing essential services like truck drivers “from local volunteers and law enforcing agencies”. It asked the government to issue clear directives and penalties to safeguard them.
Suggestion for unlocking
The confederation said that the HPC should announce the time frame on its target to reduce positivity rate below 5% and at least 50% vaccination. With health experts anticipating the third wave in a few weeks’ time, it stressed on importance of continuous local surveillance.
“The state government should immediately identify all the interstate check post, train station and airport and put in place makeshift testing lab and ensure all inbound passengers are tested at the check gate,” read the letter, adding that the government could explore PPP mode to set up such facility. It added that testing all inbound passengers in such labs on payment basis is needed to avoid test result forgery issue.
Citing non compliance of SOP by many under home quarantine, the CNCCI advocated reactivation of paid institutional quarantine centres (hotels and government-run) to isolate all “inbound passengers”.
It suggested the HPC to sit with Nagaland Medical Dealers’ Association and be prepared from any eventuality. It also expressed its willingness to sit with the committee on the issues raised and provide assistance.