Kohima, June 06: The National People’s Party (NPP), Nagaland State in a representation to the Chief Minister of Nagaland stated that the present chaotic situation in Nagaland arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to mass upheavals and unrest in days to come.
NPP reiterated that, it doesn’t want Nagaland to suffer from a civil unrest because of a situation that could not be effectively controlled.
The NPP put up seven points to the Chief Minister seeking answers for the same, as listed below;
– The party alleged that the government was not well-prepared and very rash in bringing back the stranded people of Nagaland from various states of India without properly ascertaining the state’s preparedness in terms of health resources, screening facilities, quarantine centres, fully functional BSL-3 & 2 Labs.
NPP said that the government’s lack of command and competency was evident. The BSL-3 Lab at Kohima was only ready after the returnees started arriving.
NPP questioned on the sanctioning of funds for people stranded outside the state, while appreciating the people who decided to stay back out of their own free will and said that the government should help and not neglect them. The party also enquired if funds are being used judiciously and transparent and if there was a necessity of the COVID-19 cess.
The NPP alleged that the government is not being transparent in the utilization of the COVID-19 funds and instead has provided exaggerated amounts in the public portals. Despite receiving huge amounts of funds from the Central Government, the state government is still seeking for more assistance, even to the extent of praying for donations to the Chief Minister Care Fund.
While questioning the reliability on the wisdom and prowess of the leaders which has failed in securing the lives of the people, the party said that the numerous viral videos doing the rounds all over the social media about the atrocities meted out to our fellow citizens in Bihar speaks volumes about the government’s failure in providing basic care and protection to our people.
Pointing out on quarantine centre and reception of returnees NPP stated, even after the returnees set their feet on their home soil, there was no respite to their agonies. There were instances, where they were kept waiting for hours in the name of screening without any food or water. Most of the quarantine centres do not even have basic facilities available. There are even reports that some quarantine centres do not even have separate toilets, stated NPP.
To top it all, the NPP said that the govt succumbed to the pressures of few organisations and decided to send the returnees to their own respective districts. The act of sending the returnees to Tuensang without awaiting for the test results and also the manner in which a returnee who was tested positive was sent along with other returnees to Jalukie in Peren District were gross miscalculations on the government’s part, it said.
How can there be accountability and commitment when there are frequent transfers and postings of the top level officials of the COVID-19 Committees who are not given adequate opportunities to settle down and understand the logistics. Moreover, the government is giving priority in terms of testing only the returnees from the red zones but are least bothered about those who have come from the other zones which is again a gross miscalculation on the part of the government, the party said.
The NPP questioned the reason for the government taking the decision of sending the returnees to other districts despite several requests and suggestions. The result of the callous attitude of the government is right in front of our eyes. In just few days, the total number of positive cases in Nagaland has reached an alarming number of 107, it stated.
At this rate there is a huge probability that the number of positive cases may shoot up to more than 500 in the upcoming weeks, NPP presumed while asking if the COVID-19 hospitals are fully equipped and prepared to handle this situation. It further asked, what will happen to the isolation wards getting filled up and due to lack of enough ventilators?
There have also been numerous reports that till date the samples of many of the returnees who are lodged in the quarantine centres have not even been collected for testing. There is a backlog of around 1000 quarantinees who have not been screened or tested till now, it said.
NPP demanded a logical explanation as to why such a negligent approach is being taken by the government towards the returnees and why there is no follow up being done regarding their health and welfare especially when the govt have already professed that everything is under control.
The NPP questioned the efficacy of the government in sending the test samples to Dibrugarh, Assam citing reasons that the testing facility at Kohima has been overloaded. There is a high probability that the samples might get destroyed during transit or even may not be properly tested. The possibilities are endless and the government will be totally answerable if any anomaly takes place. Instead, the government can mull upon using the Trunat Beta-Cov Testing Kits/Machines as an alternative before more Labs are made functional. Though, the Trunat Beta-Cov is not highly dependable, they can at least provide some conclusive report based on which the tests may further be validated through the BSL-3 or BSL-2 Labs, stated NPP.
It also blamed the government for making an unrealistic promise of setting up a BSL-2 Lab in Tuensang. The BSL-2 Lab at CIHSR is not functional till date , whereas, the government should have given utmost priority to set up more COVID-19 treatment facilities for the patients instead of solely focusing on testing alone.
NPP on government’s assurance of a BSL-2 Lab at Tuensang said, the act of the government can very well be considered as a malicious act of pacifying the public of Eastern Nagaland by giving them a candy rather than solving their problems earnestly with genuine concerns for them.
The equipment is an RT-PCR which is a highly sophisticated machine and requires years of training by very skilled technologists to run it. This equipment will need to be used later for other investigations by some hardcore scientific people or else it will be a waste just like some CT scan, ECG, Ultrasound, Blood gas, TMT machines, etc. which are lying idle in various District Hospitals due to lack of adequate trained manpower to operate them. This should be a wakeup call for the state government to send our Naga people outside for technical and medical trainings without being biased and always being dependant on technicians from outside the state.
The other aspect is the total lack of concern for the frontline workers who have not been provided with proper facilities. The result is that in the coming days many medical staff may leave their job due to safety concerns, with the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state many nurses are quitting their jobs in private hospitals as they were feeling unsafe coupled with increased work and family pressure to quit their jobs.
To add to the apathy of the medical fraternity, the government has placed the ball of deciding the fate of the quarantinees in the court of the poor doctors who are already over-worked and overloaded. There are reports that after the mandatory institutional quarantine of 14 days, the doctors are being directed by the government to issue certificates to the quarantinees without even conducting the swab tests on them.
In this context if any quarantinee is released without any tests and later found positive, who will take the blame? Here, the government has shrewdly passed the buck to the doctors for not taking the blame on themselves.
NPP also draws the attention of the govt to the fact that Dimapur has the highest number of returnees, which will come to approximately 70% of the total returnees compared to the other districts. However, it is being provided very minimal facilities unlike Kohima where all the best facilities are concentrated including maximum number of doctors and nurses. On the other hand, the CMOs of all districts are not only handling the COVID-19 Hospitals but also all the Quarantine Centres with limited number of manpower which is adding to the work load of the medical staff. In this regard, the party demanded the state government to immediately depute adequate number of doctors and nurses in all the districts, and also demanded that doctors and other medical staff should be proportionately distributed in each district as per the district-wise load of qurantinees.
Moreover, at present, there are no adequate back up of doctors and paramedics, particularly in Dimapur, due to which they are not only overloaded but also there are risks of them being infected with the virus. In case of a negative effect of the fallout on the doctors, nurses and paramedics, and they get infected, what will be the consequences? The government has also not taken up any prospect of encouraging the medical fraternity in terms of providing them ex-gratia and other perks and emoluments at this crucial juncture which is again a cause of deep resentment. Here, we would like to tender our deep appreciation for the Dimapur District COVID-19 Committee led by Shri Y. Kikheto Sema, IAS, Agriculture Production Commissioner who has done an incredible job of managing the overall situation like a true leader along with his team despite heavy work pressure. We also appreciate all those NGOs, Civic Bodies, Institutions and Individuals who are going out of their way in helping the returnees as well as the frontline workers without any funds from the state government.
The NPP requested the CM to give a patient hearing and act positively to the constructive criticisms instead of tarnishing their images and victimizing them by using undue power.
In light of the above, the NPP, Nagaland State resented that the government has enough avenues to resort to but sadly enough, the govt has chosen politics and self-gain over reasoning and humanity. The party further demanded legitimate answers from your government regarding all the above and we need them immediately as we have to be assured that we are in safe and worthy hands at this crucial juncture.
The NPP requested the CM to step down and pave a way forward for a people-centric government and leadership if the present CM cannot prove the worth of being a competent leader during this crisis so that the public don’t have to suffer any longer.