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Covid-19: ‘Nagaland is neither well-prepared nor ill-prepared’

By Our Correspondent Updated: Mar 27, 2020 11:08 pm
directorate of Health and Family Welfare
The directorate of Health and Family Welfare in Kohima. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, March 27 (EMN): There are shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other protective gear not only in India but across the globe, Dr. Vizolie Z Suokhrie, Principal Director of Health and Family Welfare told a section of reporters during an interaction in Kohima on Friday.

One of the biggest concerns is “not (being) able to get our requirements, particularly protective attires, for health workers,” he said, adding that the department is trying its best to address the issue.

Prior to the announcement of nationwide lockdown on March 24, consignment of the equipment was expected to be delivered to Nagaland; but the lockdown has presented difficulties. The department is coordinating with the Air Force to lift the materials to the state, he added.

The principal director informed that some of the materials had already been deposited in Nagaland House in New Delhi and could be airlifted to Nagaland. “We are expecting one or two truckloads of consignment to be reached from Guwahati by tonight (March 27),” he said, adding that they will be dispatched immediately to the districts.

“Presently, there is no positive case of Covid-19 in Nagaland, which is why the state is able to prepare even better for any eventualities. The state is neither well-prepared nor ill-prepared; rather, it is ‘fairly-preparing’, and with time it can keep on improving,” Suokhrie said.

“Since more than 50% of people under home quarantine were from Kohima and Dimapur, the department is gearing up more in these two districts. Once that is done, it will be able to follow up in other districts,” he added. 

However, he assured that all district teams have geared up for Covid-19. Health workers are working very hard in rudimentary health infrastructure in the state. He expressed happiness at the effort of the district teams.

On the reported absence of health workers at Khuzama check gate, the principal director replied: “I can’t sacrifice all my health workers to border areas for doing something which can be done by anybody. Please don’t expect too much from health workers, we are overburdened.”

Now the situation demands the health workers to be taking care of patients, he said.

“The department has trained people including police personnel to do the scanning. However, after training, health workers were expected to man check gates, which becomes a big issue for us,” he pointed out. “Health workers’ priority is to be well-prepared and provide healthcare whenever any patient comes. Further, once Covid-19 patient is admitted, patient attendance (family members/visitors) is strictly prohibited,” he added.

The principal directors also informed that the department has declared and activated Covid-19 Hospitals (meant for positive cases only) including Chedema Ayush Hospital, Dimapur District Hospital, and Naga Hospital, Kohima.

Meanwhile, quarantine facilities have already been activated at designated places in Kohima and Dimapur, with people already occupying those places. As and when required, it would be expanded, he added. 

He appealed to citizens to strictly maintain personal hygiene including hand washing, avoid touching face, nose and mouth unnecessarily. “If these things are practiced religiously, people need not panic about being infected with Covid-19,” Suokhrie said.

“Isolation facility requires a room attached with bathroom and kitchen if possible. If the state government is to isolate thousands of individuals, it is going to be overwhelming. Therefore, every individual needs to take responsibility,” he added.

The principal director assured his surveillance teams are monitoring people under home quarantine, by calling them every morning and evening. He added that the department has worked out the records of students coming from outside.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Mar 27, 2020 11:08:26 pm