Healthcare Facilities Not Enough - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Healthcare Facilities Not Enough

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By The Editorial Team Updated: May 19, 2021 1:54 am

The nation was ill-prepared when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced nationwide total lockdown last year. It took the people by surprise as restrictions came into effect just hours after announcement. This time, the government of India has refrained from taking similar drastic step despite the second wave of Covid-19 sweeping through the country. It instead asked the states to take all necessary steps as deemed fit to control the spread of the virus. Several states, including Nagaland, had to impose total lockdown again as cases were surging at an alarming rate and fatalities increased. The move was inevitable. And there was public acceptance as well. Unlike last year, several civil society organisations in Nagaland demanded that the state government impose strict measures, not satisfied with consolidated guidelines issued for Dimapur and Kohima, and as the seven-day total lockdown period will end on May 21, there are already clamours to extend it. This is a clear indication that public has realised the benefits of such measures however harsh they may be- mentally, physically and economically. People are surely better informed and more responsible this time in the combat against the dreaded disease. However, lockdown violations reported in Dimapur and Kohima, the epicentres of Covid-19 cases in the state, tell that there are still irresponsible people who will endanger themselves and others, including those close to them. People should avoid unnecessary movement during the lockdown period for the safety of everyone and to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

The Central government imposed lockdown last year for three primary purposes- to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, create awareness about the unknown virus and boost healthcare facilities in case the infections surge. The purpose of lockdown remains the same this year too, except that the public is already aware of the disease today. While all the states, especially smaller ones, upgraded healthcare facilities significantly over the past one year, reports of people dying due to non availability of medical facilities, especially oxygen, exposed false contentment. The want for more medical equipment despite help pouring in from various parts of the world tells that the country needs to heavily invest in healthcare sector. The Centre as well as State governments should learn from the past mistakes and make good use of the lockdown time by rigorously upgrading healthcare facilities to ensure that every patient gets proper medical care in future. Nagaland government too should take advantage of the lockdown and enhance healthcare facilities. BSL labs, oxygen generation plants, upgrading of district hospitals and the move to set up a 176-bedded Covid hospital in Dimapur within few days’ time is commendable and will help instil faith in the government besides saving lives but lot more needs to be done, especially in the rural areas. The state government should ensure that people in remote areas don’t suffer due to lack of healthcare facilities if cases surge in such places. The public too should co-operate with the government in this fight by following all SOP, which everyone knows like the back of their hands. We should also brace ourselves for a longer lockdown considering the severity of the second wave.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: May 19, 2021 1:54:15 am
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