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H&FW Minister updates Assembly with stale COVID-19 figures

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Govt reiterates “no community spread” in Nagaland

Kohima, August 13: Nagaland Minister for Health and Family S Pangnyu Phom today provided stale update on the COVID-19 incidence in the State to the State Assembly.
It is the Health & Family Welfare Minister, who give updates on the daily COVID-19 cases detected in the State through his twitter handle, before which even if information is sought for, the officials of HFW Department remain tight lipped while even the figures in the State COVID-19 dashboard remains unchanged.
However, reading out his prepared statement on COVID-19 scenario in the floor of the Assembly following Speaker’s assent, the Minister apparently did not have the updated tally of the numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases, recovered and active patients.
In his statement, the Minister read out the stale update of August 11 saying “There are 3,031 confirmed cases in Nagaland out of which 2,032 are active cases, 985 recovered, 7 COVID-19 deaths, one death due to non-COVID-19 and 6 migrated. A total of 1,395 confirmed cases are among Armed forces, 1,096 are returnees, 200 are frontline workers, 296 are traced contact and 52 others.”
The Health and Family Welfare department in the past had maintained that the test results are normally out early in the morning.
While today’s session had started at 9:30 a.m., the Minister made the statement only after completion of at least three proceedings of the House, yet apprised the House with the updates of August 11, while the figures had already changed last evening itself.
On being contacted Health Department official without wanting to make explanation accepted that the Minister read out the updates given by the department.
Nonetheless, it was Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio while making the statement just before conclusion of the session who updated the House at least with yesterday’s figure which says the State has 3,118 confirmed cases, out of which 1,991 are active, 1,113 recovered, 8 dead and 6 migrated to other states.
Meanwhile, both the Chief Minister and Health Minister affirmed that there is no community spread in the State.
Rio in his statement said “so far there are no cases where we cannot trace the source and hence the Health Department is of the view that there is no community transmission in Nagaland”.
Minister Phom said “as history of contact has been established in all cases, there is no community transmission in the State”.
Health Minister presents details of COVID-19 management in Nagaland
Minister for Health and Family Welfare, S Pangnyu Phom, who also made a statement in the House said so far, a total of 4,08,812 travelers by air, railways and roadways have been screened in the State.
He said to prevent the spread of the virus, 261 quarantine facilities were put in place, adding that with decreasing returnees, the quarantine facilities are now in the process of scaling down.
Nagaland had zero capacity to test COVID-19 in the State, but today the government has set up and made two Bio-safety laboratories functional in Kohima and Dimapur while the third lab is being set up at District Hospital Tuensang and is expected to be commissioned by August-end, Phom informed the House.
The State has a total of 29 TrueNat machines which include 3 machines provided by the Ministry of HFW and 6 machines donated by legislators and civil societies of the State, he said.
He said the total number of returnees put in quarantine centres is 21,617. Currently, 2,099 persons including 115 Front Line Workers are in quarantine centres. Further, a total of 23,221 persons were put under Home Quarantine and presently 3,243 persons are under Home Quarantine, he said.
So far, a total of 48,901 samples were tested, out of which 28,557 samples were tested with BSL Lab RT-PCR and 20,344 with Truenat machines.
The State has tested 38,634 persons, so far, he said, adding that the testing per million population is 21,170 per million which is a higher testing rate than the national average of 18,770 per million.
He said the State now has a capacity to test over 1,200 samples per day.
He said the State Government has created a total of 390 new posts under the Department of Health and Family Welfare to strengthen its Human Resource in the fight against COVID-19 and to reduce the shortage of technical manpower in the health sector.
The Minister asserted that about 542 doctors, 2065 nurses and various supporting staff manpower under the department is involved in this fight against COVID-19 pandemic and delivery of essential health Services.
The State has made available a total of 75,501 PPEs till date out of which 49,486 was procured by State Government, 14,775 received from GOI, and 11,240 received from Tata Trusts, he said, adding that a total of 1,31,050 N95 masks – 41,700 procured by State, 69,800 from GOI, and 19,550 from Tata Trusts have been made available till date.
State government has also procured 2,16,650 triple layer masks, and various other items like body bags, goggles, sodium hypochlorite, gloves, thermal scanners, hand sanitizers etc.
The State Government has procured 90 ventilators while Tata Trusts donated 50 and Government of India issued 45, thereby enhancing the capacity of ventilators to 185 since the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Maintaining that sufficient quantity of essential medicines worth Rs. 8.35 crores have been procured and distributed, he said a total of 75,000 tablets of HydroxyChloroquine 200 mg, and 10,000 tablets of Azithromycin 500 mg were received from the Government of India.
Ten new ambulances were also procured and distributed and the State has now a total of 108 department ambulances, he said.
He said that numerous civil societies, churches, NGOs and individuals have come forward with generous contributions and joined hands with the Government in the fight against COVID pandemic.
For effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Control Rooms were set up at the Directorate of Health & Family Welfare as well as at the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority, he informed the House.
The District Task Force of all the districts, particularly Dimapur and Kohima, which had the highest number of returnees, have put in admirable selfless efforts in developing and managing quarantine centres for the returnees, he said.
Expressing that the mammoth exercise and the elaborate protocols of the entire quarantine process have been very challenging, and on certain occasions there have been some unfortunate issues in its execution, Phom appreciated the people of Tuensang and Peren districts for showing exemplarily and broad-mindedness for the common good in spite of the untold inconveniences and apprehensions caused.
Maintaining that COVID-19 is here to stay, Phom appealed to the members to adopt safety practices and adhere with the Advisories issued by the State Government from time to time, at the same time to educate the citizens, as it is the individual’s responsibility to stay safe and healthy. (Page News Service)