Hotels in Dimapur to stop providing quarantine facilities
Dimapur, Aug. 27 (EMN): The Nagaland Hotels and Restaurant Association (NHRA) has informed that all private hotels that have been used as paid quarantine facilities in Dimapur will stop taking in new inmates from September 1.
This decision was taken following a new standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the government, directing all paid facilities to provide in-house doctor and nurse as government doctors will no longer be detailed to the paid quarantine facilities.
The general secretary of NHRA, Seyiekhrielie Natso, said at a press briefing in Dimapur on Thursday that after agreeing to adhere to the new SOP, the association had hired four doctors from Nikos Hospital and Research Centre to cater to the inmates at the paid facilities.
“Right now, we have 41 hotels under the association, and to provide one private doctor each would be impossible due to manpower (issue) but thankfully, the four doctors agreed,” Natso said, adding that the decision to pay the doctors every month by each hotel was also finalised.
According to him, many medical professionals “flatly refused” to serve as in-house doctors.
Also, the NHRA expressed dismay at the refusal of the chief medical officer’s (CMO) office to provide protective gear such as gloves, masks, sanitisers and PPE suits to the four private doctors.
“Who will provide these things when the doctor has to visit a possibly Covid-19 positive inmate? The CMO said that hoteliers have to provide all the gear to the doctors,” Natso stated, adding that the government should provide the gear.
“We then agreed to provide hand gloves, masks and sanitisers but PPE suits are impossible to provide,” shared Natso.
It was informed that during the initial stages, the Health department assured to provide the protective gear such as masks, gloves and sanitisers but till date ‘nothing has been provided to the paid quarantine facilities’.
Another issue the NHRA raised was the documentation process of inmates at the paid facilities, which has put a strain on the staff of the hotels. Natso explained that the present practice of submitting and receiving the reports of inmates by the hoteliers would be discontinued to avoid direct physical contact and to maintain social distancing as per SOP.
“Most of the staff are apprehensive to do this work as they are afraid; what if the inmate is positive and the staff, after contact with inmate, goes out doing all these medical errands?” Natso asked.
He added that initially, the medical team did it but after the new SOP, hotel staff have been performing it, ‘which is very risky’.
He further informed that the association also initiated a non-contact exchange of reports and information through various means such as WhatsApp or email but was rejected ‘as it was mandatory to provide hard copies’, shared Natso.
“Government officials have something to fall back on if anything happens but hotel staff have nothing to support them if anyone is found positive,” said Natso. He also informed that many doctors have refused to do such “clerical jobs” of picking and submitting reports.
“I hope an amicable solution can come at the earliest so that we do not have to take such a measure to shut all paid facilities from September 1,” shared Natso.
According to him, all pre-bookings will also be stopped.
“People who have pre-booked for a paid facility from September 1 will have to stay at a government quarantine facility if no solution comes about,” affirmed Natso.
The association further informed that a memorandum was submitted to the deputy commissioner (DC) of Dimapur on August 26, seeking his intervention and a speedy redress of the said issues.
Speaking to Eastern Mirror, the DC of Dimapur, Rajesh Soundararajan, said that the matter regarding data collection and documentation of inmates at paid facilities was discussed.
“It is a lot to bother the hotels for data collection and since the administration also attains these data, we will be submitting the same for the hotels as well to the CMO,” informed Soundararajan.
On the issue of procuring PPE gear for the private doctors, Soundararajan said that the matter would be looked into and a solution will come about at the earliest.