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NPF questions state government’s preparedness to combat Covid-19

By EMN Updated: Apr 13, 2020 11:21 pm

Dimapur, April 13 (EMN): The Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Monday raised several questions on the way the PDA government tackles the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that health facilities in Nagaland are ill-equipped.

The statement issued by the press bureau of the party came a day after Assam Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on social media that a patient from Nagaland had been tested positive for the novel coronavirus at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) and was undergoing treatment at the health facility.

The NPF stated that it had assured full support and solidarity to the state government in fighting the spread of Covid-19 from day one of the news about the pandemic “without mincing words and without any second thought” and would continue to do so as long as the government puts in serious effort to contain the dreaded disease. However, it said the government has been “proudly claiming that the state is fully prepared” though “nothing is installed and instituted on the ground to effectively combat the pandemic”.

“We have also come across in some of the news item that, some consignment of medical kits and equipment has been transported in the State through a special chartered plane which in fact gave us a sigh of relief in the midst of fear and doubts. But the bigger question is whether those medical kits and equipment are of international/national standard or a sub-standard one’s? Even if the supply of protective kits and medical equipment’s are in large quantities, if it is not a quality product/stuffs then the safety of the frontlines workers is still at risk,” the statement read.

It stated that the person from Dimapur, who has been confirmed coronavirus-positive, might have gone through all the screening process at the Airport or railway station but was not detected the virus, thus casting doubts on the ‘medical kits and equipment supplied and used in the state’. It sought clarification from the government on this to “boost the morale of the frontline workers in particular and to ease the tension of the general public at large”.

The party said the confirmed Covid-19 positive case of a person hailing from Dimapur indicates that the government is not “effectively handling the present pandemic which is extremely disturbing and worrisome”. It said that the government has failed to take care of the first case, which was confirmed from Guwahati, despite support from the Centre and the opposition party in the state.

It alleged that the Covid-19 positive person had a travel history but the state government “casually handled the case”, thus putting the lives of thousands of citizens of Dimapur under tension. “The government claim of fully prepared to face any eventuality appears to be only propaganda rather than providing the most required medical facilities (sic),” the statement read. It also asked how the state will handle if there are more cases.

The party said it was shocking that a minister from Assam announced the case, thus throwing a poor light on the state government. “In fact, it is extremely embarrassing that the state government could not procure even a testing machines/lab even after elapsed of almost two months and the said poor fellow has to be ultimately referred to another state for treatment. Should other State refuse to admit and treat the patient from Nagaland what option do we have?” it asked, adding that the state has enough fund to procure a testing machine from financial assistance via the central government and various individuals.

It went on to ask how the Jain community in Dimapur was allowed to celebrate Mahavir Jayanti at Marwari Patti on April 6 when all social and religious gatherings were restricted during the lockdown period.

It may be mentioned that in this regard the Jain community had refuted the claim on Monday, stating that “as per the directives of the Jain monks and the elders/executives of the community, all members of the community celebrated Mahavir Jayanti within the confines of their own respective homes and not as circulated on social media.

The NPF also made the following suggestions to the state government:

  • Since the PDA government has issued statements after statement assuring the citizens of Nagaland that it is fully prepared to tackle Covid-19 and with that assurance the general public have extended full cooperation for the past 21 days of lockdown; now the total lockdown may be relaxed w.e.f. April 15 within the state with some regulations in placed on the ground.
  • Only movement within the districts for the time being.
  • Inter-district movement of vehicle and pedestrians may hold on for a week’s time and special medical team may be assigned to focus more on Dimapur district.
  • Schools may remain closed till the end of April 2020 and the lost classes/days due to the present pandemic may be recovered by shortening the duration of summer vacation.
  • The airport, railway station and inter-state bus/taxi terminals may be sealed till the end of April.
By EMN Updated: Apr 13, 2020 11:21:21 pm