TR Zeliang questions on the State’s preparedness for post-lockdown

Kohima, April 26 (NE): With only seven more days to go until the lockdown is lifted, the leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, Shri TR Zeliang questioned the preparedness of the state in a post lockdown scenario. The lockdown is to be observed till May 3, 2020, as per the announcement of extension of nationwide lockdown by the PM of India Shri Narendra Modi on April 14, 2020.

Zeliang asked the state government on the solution or strategy and preparedness of the state post-lockdown. Reminding on the recently concluded NLA Budget Session in the month of February, TR said that he raised the significance to be prepared for any eventuality and the govt had with conviction stated in the House that the State has initiated many measures to tackle and handle the virus. But the picture today is far from the wild claims made then.

Highlighting on the objective of lockdown, TR said that Lockdown helped in the spread of the virus thus containing mass infections. However, it is also a fact that lockdowns are not long term solution to fight the virus. As is evident, our State’s dismal preparedness to combat the pandemic is pathetic.

The lockdown should have served as a period to ramp up our State’s preparedness so that, as and when the Lockdown were lifted, we would be in a position to handle positive cases on our own without having to run hither and thither for help from neighbouring States. However, it is a sad reality on the ground in our State, when it comes to being prepared despite the government’s incessant ‘well-prepared’ claims, TR added.

With one incomplete testing lab, too little ICUs with ventilators in place in various districts, ill equipped isolation wards, poor quality PPEs for the Doctors and Nurses etcetera, our State could be worst hit post lockdown at this rate. This govt is quick to make announcements and receive applause but slow as a snail in implementation as was the case from the day they came to power. The same is happening with the setting up of the laboratory. They said the lab would be functional at the earliest yet going by the departments’ assessment, it wouldn’t be as early as the initial announcement and could turn to a month or more before it is fully functional.

He further pointed out that the only way to fight against this virus would be, as also been suggested by experts, to ensure that we can detect the symptomatic patients, test their samples without delay and be able to isolate and care for every positive cases and further trace every contact and place them under quarantine and observation. And for this to happen, infrastructure needs to be in place and good coordination between hospitals and government departments should be prioritised so that we wouldn’t have a similar case as with the first Covid-19 positive patient.

TR reiterated that the Government needs to work double time to ensure that mass infections do not occur as a result of their complacency when lockdown is lifted. Most importantly, the need for quality and WHO recommended protective gears and other medical equipments needs to be provided to the frontline workers. We cannot dream to be safe, protected and cared unless the Doctors and nurses feel safe first. Their wellbeing and security should be our top priority. Ex-gratia announcement is well appreciated but what good if the living is not cared as dead is unproductive.