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COVID-19 2.0: Unpreparedness continues at Dimapur


DIMAPUR, APRIL 20: Contrary to the State Health Department’s confident public posturing ~ after reasoning that it has learned from the failures experienced during the first wave of COVID-19 ~ the authorities’ handling of the pandemic in Dimapur of late has done little to inspire confidence among the residents here.

In the past 5 days (from April 16 to 20), Dimapur has recorded 136 COVID positive cases, including a whopping 70 cases on April 20 alone.
A source at District Hospital Dimapur said that most of the positive cases were persons with travel history to Assam, where they had gone to cast their votes recently. None of them were checked at the entry points when they returned to Dimapur, the source added.
According to the source, majority of them had returned by train. Till date, the Dimapur district authorities have yet to reactivate the passenger checking mechanism that was earlier installed at Dimapur Railway Station.
Recently, the district administration had announced that they would conduct random testing in Dimapur.
On April 13, while speaking to journalists in Kohima, the Principal Director of Health and Family Welfare Department, Dr. Kevichusa Medikhru, had claimed that said “we were caught unaware when COVID-19 first hit the State but this time we are gearing up to face any challenges that would come about with the second wave of the infection”.
Series of consultative meetings were being held with Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents of all the districts to review the failures faced during the more than one year of the pandemic and prepare well to face the challenges ahead, he had said.
Inputs from the ground would appear to suggest otherwise, at least here in Dimapur. On Monday, April 19, the State Home Department had issued a letter advising all District Task Forces (DTFs) to urgently convene meetings and, after taking into consideration local factors, implement specific measures to curb the spread of the virus.
As per workers at the District Hospital, they are yet to receive any directive/recommendation from the Dimapur DTF. Calls made to Deputy Commissioner Rajesh Soundararajan, who is also the Chairman of DTF, for related queries went unanswered.
Meanwhile, private hospitals and clinics have reportedly been told to arrange ambulances/transportation on their own when sending COVID positive cases to the District Hospital.

A District Hospital source said that some of the patients referred by private hospitals, whose results returned COVID positive later, had come to the hospital on autorickshaws.
Call was made to the Chief Medical Officer of Dimapur, Dr. Mereninla, for clarification, but it went unanswered.
(Page News Service)