NPF targets CM Rio, questions incompetency to handle Covid-19

Dimapur, April 15 (NE): On the wake of recent media reports, highlighting the conditions of State’s health infrastructures and preparedness to handle Covid-19 situation in Nagaland, Naga People’s Front (NPF) has questioned the incompetency of the ruling PDA Government to tackle a global pandemic in the State.

NPF, press bureau through a press release, on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 has strongly condemned the government for not coming out with a concrete plans, even after Nagaland registered its first Covid case.

Press release reads out – “Where will Covid-19 patients of Nagaland go if tested positive, leave alone the first State’s Covid case; Will hospitals in other states admit later too if any such patients are referred to?

This may be a bizarre question but truly boggling every mind since Nagaland registered its first Covid case and the unpreparedness of State’s health department was exposed in media. The way present state government under the leadership of Neiphiu Rio is handling the situation, embarrassingly reflects its ineptness, lack of knowledge, lethargy and wavering political leadership even though it received cooperation from various quarters and huge funds from Delhi to fight against Covid menace.

The recent media reports on the conditions of State’s health infrastructures, diagnostics labs, para medical equipments, and inadequate safety measures for health workers have enormously proved that the government is not doing enough. Does state government have any concrete action plan? Executing lockdown isn’t enough. It has to focus on mass testing, proper treatment and medication and ensure safety measures.

Last week, the PDA government had proudly claimed that the State was well prepared to combat Covid-19 pandemic but going by the reports, frontliners are at risk due to inferior quality of protective materials. Health workers including doctors even with protective and precautionary measures could be infected from patients directly or indirectly. There have been blame game doing rounds in media that Covid-19 Hospital Dimapur is not ready to admit any Covid patient and that there is no availability of funds for renovation of the hospital. There are also complaints that PPE kits supplied were incomplete and of inferior quality. The Covid doctors have resolved not to attend patients without quality PPE kits. H&FW has also not identified lodging place for doctors and staffs. This shows a real mess and incompetency of the government. The health minister must step down on moral ground.

The directive for renovation of hospital purportedly given by Chief Minister during his visit was just in verbal and there has been no seriousness on his part. If Neiphiu Rio feels not capable enough to tackle the situation, his government must immediately pave way for alternate arrangement of government instead of clinging on to his seats but failing in their jobs.

It may be mentioned, Government of India has sanctioned crores of rupees to Nagaland to combat Covid-19.

Various organizations and individuals have also contributed towards this noble cause. Earlier, Nagaland has received from the Centre its first instalment of Rs 20.50 crore under the State Disaster Response and Mitigation Fund (SDRMF) for the year 2020-21. The State government had said it would use 25 percent of the total amount for Covid-19 crisis. On April 3, the Ministry of Finance has also released Rs 32641.66 lakhs as grants-in-aid.

Inspite of all this sufficient funds, if responsible people neglect the health sector that cost lives, the government of the day will be held accountable to the victims and citizens. In a time like this, it is ridiculous that the Chief Minister had started asking donations and even when the Centre had allocated funds meant for dealing Covid-19 pandemic the state still lacks proper equipments and functional Convid-19 designated hospitals.

The government must also set up a control room to monitor supply of essential commodities. There have been complaints of disruption of supply of essential commodities to many far-flung areas. All the essential commodities to the respective Hqs and destinations should also be checked of any contagion under strict supervision of medical experts lest virus transmit to people-to-people.

It appears that that government is outsourcing responsibilities and duties to non-state actors. There are instances that organizations and groups are over-ruling the decisions of the government and enforcing their own diktats in several parts of the state. This is leading the people to confusion.

The NPF would also like to urge the government to make certain arrangement to let stranded students and travellers reach their villages. When Guwahati can be relaxed, why not some parts in Nagaland?” – unquote.