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Constitution of Advisory Panel undermines local expertise: NPF

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KOHIMA, MAY 27: Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) has questioned the State Government over the management of funds during this pandemic period.

The Cock party said the State Government has constituted an Advisory Panel of Experts from various sectors, including from abroad, but it has not shown the monetary involvement to the people. “The Government of Nagaland has not shown monetary involvement in this regard to public due to reason best known to them”, a senior NPF lawmaker said. Whereas, he said, only recently the Government has announced a pro-rata cut of 20% from out of the State Non-Plan, stating to take good care of COVID-19 management since there is financial constraint in the fund management.
“Such a bombastic policy decision in the given situation in the State is totally uncalled for. Let’s wait and see,” he said.
The State Government has constituted an advisory panel of experts for a period of one year to seek and utilize their expertise in administration of COVID-19 by the State Disaster Management Authority and State Executive Committee.
The Government has constituted a 3-member Advisory Panel of Experts to make expert opinion on various aspects of emergency response of COVID-19 to the State SDMA and SEC. The members are Dr. Satish Ranjan, Senior Scientist, Molecular Immunology, Drug Development to fight corona. He is from University Hospital, Magdeburg, Germany; Col. Sanjay Srivastava, Emergency Response, Chemical and Biological Warfare, CROPC-MoES, New Delhi, and Dr. Manoj Murhekar, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Preventive & Social Medicine, Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation, Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, New Delhi.
The panel of experts is to provide accurate scientific advice to the members of SDMC and SEC to take COVID-19 appropriate preventive measures by the State. The panel experts shall be paid allowance at the rate of Rs. 12000 per consultation.
“It is good to have an Advisory Panel of Experts for COVID for Nagaland. But why should the Government undermine experts of our own State”, former Assembly Speaker and NPF lawmaker, Chotisuh Sazo, asked. He said the COVID-19 pandemic is new to every country and the State and therefore people from Germany and New Delhi will not be able to know the local situation. He said ignoring the local experts could create misunderstanding amongst the experts.
“Nagaland has the higher percentage of recovery, as such local dietary habits, living condition, environment, our immune system, etc., are also important factors in the fight against COVID-19”, he reasoned.
He said experts from outside needs to learn from Nagaland.
Meanwhile the MLA said his party will cooperate with the Government in these trying times. “We are ready to extend our service any time”, he said. He said NPF suggested a lockdown and the next day the State Cabinet took decision to impose lockdown for a week and subsequently extended it.
“We will continue to give constructive suggestions as well as criticism to the Government for the benefit of the people”, he asserted.
But he also regretted the health infrastructure in his Chozuba constituency, adding that till date no basic life-saving equipment such as oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, ambulance, etc., has been provided. Also, not a single specialist doctor has been posted in the Community Health Centre (CHC), Chozuba, nor in the entire Sub-division which has the highest population in Phek district.

“However I am grateful to the Sub-Division Task Force headed by the ADC and Senior Medical Officer, CHC,
Chozuba, civil societies such as the Chozuba Range Public Organization, Chokri Area Public Organization, Churches, Village Task Forces and all front-liners, are tirelessly working in their respective roles”, Sazo said.
He said because of the tireless efforts of the organizations and Churches there has been no report of COVID-19 positive case in Chozuba Sub-Division. But he said people are worried should any difficult situation arise, as there are no basic life saving equipments and machines. “Otherwise we are on a war-footing to prevent the pandemic with local resources and manpower”, the former Assembly Speaker said.
(Page News Service)