Dimapur, May 24: The National People’s Youth Front (NPYF), Nagaland has highlighted gross anomalies in the State response of the COVID-19 pandemic and has appealed to the State machinery to take immediate cognizance of the same and strictly penalize all directly responsible for the anomalies.
In an open letter to the Chief Minister of Nagaland, the NPYF alleged that the frontline workers especially from the medical fraternity are being made to work overtime due to shortage of medical staff. It said though the Community Health Officers (CHOs) are not supposed to be on duty, they are made to do so by the department concerned without any payment of DA.
“The saddest part however is that the medical teams who are fighting against this deadly pandemic are not even provided with the mandatory PPEs citing reason that there is shortage,” it alleged. Stating that the State Government has procured enough N95 masks, hand gloves, sanitizers and PPEs which were supposed to have been distributed to all the frontline workers, it asked, “Where are those equipments which the State Government has procured? Why are they not being supplied?”
It also highlighted that police personnel, and NST bus drivers requisitioned by the Government of COVID-19 duty are not being provided any protective gears.
The NPYF also questioned the Government’s gag order on medical staff. “In gross contravention of the fundamental rights, the doctors and nurses were given strict orders not to talk or speak to the media, group or individuals on any matter related to their grievances. This shows the autocratic manner in which you are letting the departments and the bureaucrats function which is again very much a matter of human rights violation.”
The letter alleged that in almost all the quarantine centres, the norms are not being followed and there is little assistance provided to the inmates. “As regards the meal to be provided to the inmates undergoing quarantine, they are supposed to be provided with Non-Veg meals at least 3 times a week. But, unfortunately, we discovered that Non-Veg meals are provided only once a week. Who has the credible answer for this anomaly?” it asked.
Stating that as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the State Government there should be mandatory screening of people coming into the quarantine facilities on a daily basis, the NPYF claimed that many people are just let off without any screening at all. “It has also been found out by NPYF Nagaland that in such quarantine centres, there is no provision for isolated toilets. Rather, common toilets are provided which has to be used by the police personnel and health staff also which is in total contravention of all social distancing and isolation norms as per the SOP.”
It also claimed that some responsible people entering from Manipur side through Khuzama check post had to, on their own accord, wait for screening for nearly 3-4 hours at the check gate. “The above people again took a voluntary initiative of searching for a quarantine facility till Dimapur as the people manning the gate did not direct them to any such quarantine centre. But, sadly enough, when they reached the quarantine centre at Dimapur, they had to wait for another 3-4 hours just to get themselves registered,” it claimed.
The letter also questioned the delay in setting up the NSL-2 laboratory at CIHSR (Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research) Dimapur. “Whereas, the fact remains that the stranded people coming in from different states, including the red zones have already arrived in huge numbers and alarmingly, the lab in Dimapur is still not ready. What is going to happen to all the screening process and how will the lab in Kohima alone manage with all the test samples collected from the incoming stranded people,” it questioned.
The NPYF further requested all concerned heads of departments, bureaucrats and public leaders not to misuse the funds meant for COVID-19 emergency as this is a universal crisis and “we have to be more humane than ever before”.
“At least in this serious situation where people’s lives are at stake, let us stay away from petty politics and corrupt practices. If any individual takes undue advantage out of this situation and tries to walk away with ill-gotten money through corruption and mismanagement of funds, a great curse will fall on him / her and his / her family as this will be a sinful act beyond any scope of forgiveness from either God or the public.”
The NPP youth front urged the State Government to immediately look into the matters positively for the general good and well being, failing which the Government will solely be held accountable for any failure leading to mass unrest in the State. (Page News Service)