Kohima, June 2: Nagaland Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom today said the decision to set up BSL-2 laboratory in Tuensang district was a decision of the State government and not connected to recent fiasco of transporting returnees to the district.
Interacting with media persons at State BJP office here, Phom said that the State cabinet had decided to set up the BSL-2 Lab in Tuensang before the incident occurred.
Admitting that the Tuensang incident was unfortunate and it was a mismanagement for which all officials involved to receive, quarantine and send the returnees are jointly responsible, Phom said the incident is in no way related to the setting up of the lab in Tuensang.
He asserted that initially the lab will be of level two but subsequently it can be upgraded to BLP-3.
With the number of positive cases increasing following the return of stranded persons from other parts of the country, while testing has been too slow, the Minister informed that 20 TrueNat machines for testing of COVID-19 suspects has been ordered, out of which five would be arriving on Friday.
Asked on the manpower to man the BSL laboratories in Dimapur and Tuensang, HFW Director Dr. Neikhrielie Khimiao said, “Availability of man power has always been a challenge but this time the state government has relaxed the norms for creation of more posts in the health department to meet the challenges”.
He, however, said that the BSL-2 lab at Dimapur would be manned by personnel from Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research.
On the functionality of BSL-2 lab in Dimapur, he said it would take about 2-3 weeks more.
On the availability of quarantine centers in the State as on date, Dr Khimiao said there are 230 quarantine centers with 13,078 bed facilities. Currently, he said 4077 persons are in the quarantine centers.
Mission Director NHM Dr Kevichusa Medikhru was also present during the media interaction. (Page News Service)