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Orgs opposes any move to send returnees to districts

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Extra medical facilities in Kohima is for all Nagas: LH

Dimapur, May 26: The Lotha Hoho and the Dimapur District Citizens’ Forum (DDCF) have opposed any move to send citizens of Nagaland that had returned from different parts of the country to their respective districts as demanded by the Kohima Village Council (KVC) and the Angamimiapfu Mechu Krotho (AMK).

In a statement, Lotha Hoho president Mhondamo Ovung and general secretary Aben Ngullie stated that as long as equal medical facilities are not given to the districts; but only concentrated at Kohima, the State capital should also shoulder its bounden responsibilities, not only in this matter; but also in all common State-level business.

“Under the present circumstances of concentration of all facilities at the State capital, Kohima, the Lotha Hoho will oppose any proposal to send the returnees to districts. The responsible authorities must not take any decision to incite statewide opposition,” said the statement.

The KVC and AMK in separate letters addressed to the Chief Minister and principal secretary, Health & Family Welfare respectively, had asked the State Government to send all stranded citizens returning from various states to their respective eight districts instead of being quarantined in Kohima.

The LH admitted that normally home districts have to shelter its citizens, but insisted that under the present circumstances, it will oppose such move since Kohima has all the extra facilities on behalf of and for the Nagas as a whole, as being the State capital.

The LH reasoned that if with all the extra facilities, Kohima refuses to shoulder its responsibility to entertain, quarantine and take care of the COIVD-19 Naga returnees, the other district headquarters will demand that the district headquarters must also have/be given equal facilities such as infrastructures, BSL-3 laboratory, medical equipment, doctors and paramedics, etc to take care of the respective district returnees.

“The point here is Kohima cannot take only the benefits in the name of being the state capital; without shouldering its responsibilities. Lion’s share in benefits also means lion’s share of responsibilities,” it stated.

The statement highlighted that the Wokha District Hospital has only one ventilator, only one cardiac monitor, only three thermal scanners, no X-ray machine, no Tru Nat test kit, no medical specialist attached to District Hospital, Wokha, since she is drawing her salary at Wokha; but is attached to Dimapur District Hospital, 6 PHCs have no medical officer. “Hence before sending the returnees to the respective districts, equal medical facilities must be given to all the districts.”

The LH also insisted that the returnees must be sent to the respective districts only after going through all the prescribed tests, completion of the quarantine period and after ascertaining that each returnee is free from coronavirus.

Is Kohima not the capital of Nagaland, asks DDCF

The Dimapur District Citizens’ Forum (DDCF) has also expressed shock over the demand of KVC and AMK to send all stranded citizens returning from various states to their respective districts instead of being quarantined in Kohima.

“It is uncalled for during this time of pandemic crisis when all developmental activities of the state are concentrated in Kohima – the state capital of Nagaland. What is the use of setting up the BSL-3 lab in the state capital, if people from other district are to be restricted from staying in Kohima? Where has our hospitality gone? Is Kohima not the capital of the state of Nagaland? Instead of shifting responsibility, even the Kisama heritage village should be included as one of the quarantine centres for returnees from other states,” said the DDCF in a press release.

The DDCF also insisted that if the returnees are not allowed to stay at Kohima quarantine centres on their transit and sent straight to their respective districts, the Government should see to it that all districts are be equipped with their own virology testing labs.

Lauding the Government for inaugurating the first BSL-3 at Naga Hospital Authority, Kohima and successfully starting the testing, the DDCF appreciated the efforts taken by the Government in bringing back stranded citizens from other parts of the country and the Dimapur district administration for receiving them and seeing them off to the designated quarantine centres.

“Now, that our state is no more a COVID free state and more stranded citizens will be coming home, the government should now sharply focus more on testing and containing the spread of this deadly virus. The inmates and workers also at the quarantine centres now should be closely monitored. The testing, quarantine facility and safe treatment are of utmost important now,” it said.

The DDCF also reiterated its earlier statement that the BSL-2 at CISHR, Dimapur should have been made fully functional by now and hoped that the Government is doing its part on a priority now that the testing of all returnees is made mandatory.

The forum further appealed to all not to panic or stigmatize anyone but instead to support each other and join hands in this fight together.

“Dimapur even after being the entry point for all the stranded people and housing the majority of the returnees in its quarantine centres and even without any functional virology laboratory, its denizen have never complained and have warmly welcomed our stranded brothers and sisters back home,” it said while expressing hope that all the other districts will do the same in welcoming our own brothers and sisters back home. (Page News Service)