DIMAPUR, AUGUST 6: The Nagaland Government seems to be tightening its purse strings with cuts in expenditure in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Health and Family Welfare Directorate, in an official order, has directed all hotels that are providing paid quarantine services to arrange for one trained doctor and nurse each on a 24×7 basis at their own cost. Since the day Nagaland started receiving returnees from various states, doctors were being provided by the Health and Family Welfare Department for conducting check-ups of those lodged in the paid quarantine centres.
The directive is not being received well by the hoteliers, who have provided their facilities for paid quarantine. Nagaland Page reached out to a few hoteliers in Dimapur, who were of the view that the directive was not practical. Firstly, they claimed that there is a shortage of trained medical personnel, more so because of stigmatization. Moreover, they felt that it was unfair on the part of the Government to force the hotels to pay for both accommodation and services for doctors and nurses.
“There is a discrepancy in the rates being charged by different hotels from the very start. While some of us are following the Government stipulated rates for accommodation, many paid quarantine centres (hotels and lodges) are charging more,” claimed one hotelier on conditions of anonymity. Nagaland Page has independently confirmed that there are disparities in rates and overstay charges in various hotels in Dimapur.
Certain hotels are not charging the returnees for extra days of stay in the event of delay in their COVID-19 test results. But in many cases, the returnees are being charged for overstay (beyond 14 days) even if their test results are delayed despite the fact that they are not over-staying of their own volition.
“We have opened the doors for the Government to lodge the returnees from the very start while many hotels refused to follow the Government directive, and we have adhered to all rules despite the very meagre profits, and putting the health of our staff at risk. And now this directive of acquiring and paying for the services of doctors and nurses puts us in a fix,” the Manager of a prominent hotel in Dimapur said.
(Page News Service)