Says, Govt spent Rs 139 cr for COVID management
Kohima, August 13: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Thursday while assuring that the state government is doing all it can to prevent and control the COVID 19 Pandemic, urged the citizens not to panic and also not to stigmatize the infected or the frontline workers in the fight against the virus.
The CM said this while making a statement during the discussion on matters of urgent public importance pertaining to COVID-19 in the one-day session of the State Assembly held here.
The discussion was proposed by the only Opposition party in the State – Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), but they boycotted the session.
In their absence, though discussion was not taken, NLA Speaker Sharingain Longkumer allowed Chief Minister Rio to make a statement in the House.
“Though we had started preventive and preparatory measures from January onwards, we went into a full disaster management mode from March 18, when the provisions of Disaster Management Act 2005 were invoked in the State,” said Rio.
Since then, he said the frontline workers, doctors and nurses, district administration and police, NSDMA, Municipal authorities, other essential services departments are working 24×7 to deal with multiple challenges brought on by the Pandemic in close coordination with Tribal Hohos, Mass based civil society organizations, Church organizations and countless volunteers who are giving their invaluable services to handle the crisis.
“We thank them all,” Rio said, adding that “the robust response to this challenge by the people of the State once again proves the effectiveness of our community spirit and strength while it also gives us hope that no challenge is big enough when the people resolve to act with unity of purpose”.
The State government has focused its attention on improving and upgrading the health infrastructure as well as creating and running quarantine centres, COVID hospitals and COVID Care centres, he said.
“We have not only created sufficient testing capacities within the state in record time, we have also substantially augmented the number of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel besides roping in private hospitals to supplement the government effort in dealing with the crisis,” Rio claimed.
Rio appeals people not to stigmatize COVID-19 infected people and frontline workers
Asserting that the state government has taken all possible measures to deal with this unprecedented health crisis in living memory, Rio claimed that “our response has been much better than many other more resourceful states and many of the initiatives have been a model for other states to follow”.
Through the august house, the Chief Minister reassured the people that the Government is doing all it can to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic while saying “so far we have succeeded to a great extent barring a few unfortunate incidents”.
He expressed confidence that with the support of the people as Team Nagaland, the state government will overcome this crisis in the weeks and months to come.
In this, Rio appealed to the people not to panic and not to stigmatize those who might unfortunately get infected or the frontline workers who are selflessly working day and night to keep the people safe from the disease.
The Chief Minister also appealed to the people to take all necessary health precautions at individual, family and community levels and follow the government advisories issued from time to time in this regard.
Govt spends Rs 139 cr for COVID management
Maintaining that Nagaland is a revenue deficit State and does not have enough resources, Rio however said, “This has not stopped us from doing whatever we could do for taking all possible steps to combat COVID-19 and to keep our people safe”.
For improving the medical infrastructure and putting in place systems, equipment and manpower for winning the battle against the pandemic, the state has spent more than Rs 62 crores, out of which the assistance from Central Government and other sources is only about Rs 10 crores, he said.
The remaining about Rs 52 crores is all from the State’s own resources.
He said in order to get resources the government took several measures to mobilize additional revenue, including cutting down nonessential expenditure by 15% and levying COVID cess at the rate of Rs 5 and Rs 6 per litre on diesel and petrol.
“We have done all this in the best interest of our people,” he said.
The Chief Minister informed the House that the total expenditure on various other non-medical interventions like relief to stranded people, distribution of food and dry rations to migrants, needy people, preparation of quarantine centres and the entire quarantine arrangements, transport arrangements for bringing stranded people back, IEC activities etc so far stands at around Rs 74 crores, including Rs 14 crores from the Centre, he said.
The total expenditure taking both the medical and non medical interventions comes to about Rs 139 crores, out of which the State Government from its own sources has spent about Rs 112 crores, including about Rs 3.35 crores from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, said Rio. (Page News Service)