Kohima, April 13 (NE): A press release issued by the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on April 13, 2020 said that the midnight announcement on April twelve about the first COVID-19 positive case from Dimapur has confirmed the worst fears of people living under lockdown for the past 20 days. Ironically, the announcement came from Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma which caught the state government completely unaware.
The NPCC stated that, as the threat of pandemic increases, the incompetence of political leadership in Nagaland is more glaring than ever before. Last minute work in sprucing up some hospitals or health centers will not be enough to handle the flow of patients if COVID-19 infection spreads. Nagaland by now should have COVID-19 Testing Lab in place other than being assured that it is in progress. Deficiency of PPEs and other critical medical equipments still continues which is utterly disgraceful and demoralizing to the frontline health care workers.
The reluctance of state government to opt for participatory approach from all political parties is baffling. Inspection visits to hospitals, distribution of some medical kits and food items is the only visible work of PDA government headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio who has been at the helm for major part of past 17 years. If only importance was given to social and health sectors, things would not have been as bad as it is now. The uninterrupted focus on festivals, entertainment and other merry making activities has exposed Nagaland badly before the nation as things stand today, the committee lamented.
Further, the committee also said that it is disturbing to note that the ruling party legislators are on a publicity spree while handing over government procured items like hand sanitizers, mask, gloves and food items to district administration or people. The public are being made to believe that the essential items are being personally procured and donated by the minister or ruling MLA which is distressing in these extraordinary times.
In the past month alone, hundreds of crores have been sanctioned by Government of India to fight COVID-19. Alongside, enough food grains have been made available to the extent of provisioning 3 months share in advance to ration card holders. It was also announced that major part of State Disaster Management Funding is being used to procure rice for distribution to cover even those without ration cards. However, available reports points out huge deficiency in ground delivery which is laced with discrimination and favouritism particularly on political lines, it added.
The best that the state government can do at this juncture is to rise up to the occasion and create an all inclusive approach. All districts and assembly constituencies must be given fair and equal treatment without any political bias. These are extraordinary times when our own lives are at stake, we cannot simply create own silos and perish like fools. There will be enough time to do politicking if we survive this pandemic, the release said.
NPCC further urged the people of Nagaland other than those needed in frontline fight, to stay home and be safe.