Kohima, June 03 (NE): The International Human Rights Council (IHRC)- Nagaland State Board on June 03, 2020, addressing the Chief Secretary, Shri Temjen Toy, through a letter, by Akavi N Zhimomi President, and Chongrokhum Sangtam State Youth President, IHRC- Nagaland State Board, suggested measures in the fight against, COVID-19 from a human rights perspective, while appreciating the difficulties faced by all branches of government especially the sacrifices made by frontline workers.
The IHRC demanded that action should be taken against those responsible for deporting of returnees from Chennai to Tuensang district without first furnishing the test results which was a complete violation of SOPs laid down under the “Disaster Management Act, 2005”. This was a grave violation of Human Rights and many Nagas were put at risk by exposing them to a potential outbreak, it said. As such, the council demanded that everyone quarantined at Sao Chang College, Tuensang should undergo “re-test” again as many have come in contact and even shared the same room with the COVID-19 positive individuals.
In order to prevent community spread, the IHRC also requested the government to carry out aggressive compulsory testing of all returnees.
The council urged the govt to ensure adequate supply of PPEs, ventilators and Hospital beds including sufficient manpower to run COVID-19 treatment facilities not only in Tuensang but all over the state, and also to fulfill its promise to set up BSL-2 lab in Tuensang without delay.
They further appealed the government to transfer the frontline workers having underlying health issues to Non-COVID duties and replacing them with more resilient personnel. The council also urged the govt to consider the situation and exempt pregnant women officials and staff members and persons with disabilities from all active duty.
The council also suggested the Govt to provide sufficient basic necessities at the Quarantine Centres such as toiletries to ensure that strict hygiene is maintained, and urged the government to provide the female returnees with all the basic requirements including sanitary requirements during their 14 days stay at the Govt arranged Quarantine Centres. It also urged to facilitate transportation to drop the returnees from the Quarantine Centres to the nearest town as many do not have private cars to ferry them. The basic needs and extra allowances of Ambulance and NST bus drivers should also be looked into, it added.
Addressing the Department of Information and Public Relation (DIPR), the IHRC requested the department to come up with more awareness in the form of maximum campaigns – videos, news, articles in different Naga dialects, keeping in mind that a large number of Nagaland’s population live in rural areas, also including languages of the non-indigenous residence of Nagaland
They also suggest the government to provide certain financial aid to those Students’ Unions like Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, etc. These places have Nagaland House and financial aids are provided to these house and they manage with it, but in reality the student union work at grass root level and they have been managing all by themselves. IHRC further urged the government to fast track the payment process of Relief Package for the stranded citizens of Nagaland so that their burden can be eased upto some extent.
‘As a bulk of Nagas working outside have returned and the ever troubling issue of employment have tripled along with the fact that no one actually knows how long the virus is staying with us. Thus, in the midst of a looming unemployment crisis, we would strongly suggest the implementation of SARFAESI Act with certain modifications that it does not clash with Article 371 (A). This Act will enable the unemployed youths to start their own projects, giving a birth to Industrialized and economically stable self sufficient Nagaland’, suggested the council.
The International Human Rights Council- Nagaland State Board requested the CS for the above mentioned points to be taken into consideration which the council felt it will benefit everyone in the state.