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‘In Dimapur only the dead get access to COVID-19 tests’

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Dimapur, August 1: In what appears to be a reflection of the general feeling of the citizens of Dimapur District with regards to testing for COVID-19, the Dimapur Urban Council Chairmen Federation (DUCCF) and the GB’S Union Sadar Dimapur on Saturday observed that in Dimapur “only the dead get access to tests.”
The observation comes as more and more cases of denial of tests for COVID-19 in Dimapur COVID-19 Hospital surfaces. On Friday, a 40-year old male patient was reportedly sent back from the Dimapur COVID Hospital without his sample being taken for COVID test. He was taken to another private hospital, but was declared “brought dead” on arrival.
Last week, family members of a COVID positive person from the Netaji Colony, Dimapur, were also reportedly turned down and sent back without any tests, despite them informing the officials that the family members had fever.
An employee of Zinyu Gas Agency, who passed away on July 25 last, had also gone to Dimapur COVID Hospital but was refused admission or tests despite his condition being serious. His COVID test was done after his demise, which returned positive.
“Recent incidents show that samples of deceased have been collected for testing which ultimately turned out to be positive cases. Testing should have been done when they were alive so that even family and friends would have taken adequate precautions when tending to their loved ones. The lapses are jarring,” said the DUCCF and GB’S Union Sadar Dimapur in a press statement.
The statement also expressed concern over the non-functioning of BSL-2 lab at CIHSR over lack of reagents. The two organizations maintained that with regard to funding for COVID 19, adequate resources have been pouring in from the Central Government; and with these resources, setting up state of the art facilities to combat the pandemic should not be a very difficult task.
“In this regard, the Minister and officials of the Health and Family Welfare, are answerable as to why, despite the flow of funds, the BSL 2 lab at CIHSR has been inoperative to lack of reagents. Dimapur, being the most densely populated district in the state, the commercial centre and gateway to Nagaland, with travelers pouring in from all over the country, it is imperative that the testing lab should be functioning on a war footing.”
“CIHSR, being where the BSL 2 lab has been set up, the staff should have the wherewithal to check on their stock balance for the most essential items such as testing kits and reagents. By now, they should be able to approximately assess how long the testing kits and reagents would last. Unfortunately, in Dimapur, it seems like only the dead get access to tests,” it lamented.
Under such circumstances, the statement said the District Task Force is compelled to call for lockdowns, which bring the economy to a grinding halt, which adversely affects the daily wage earners, vendors and shop owners, who depend on their daily earnings to support their families.
“It is the lower strata of the populace that faces this daunting daily reality, it said while endorsing the stand of the Naga Council, Dimapur (NCD) on the issue.
The statement also demanded the State authorities to make available in abundance the required testing facilities and reagents to cater to all sections of the populace.
“We may have grievances but legislators and policy makers are the ones with the power to put plans in place,” it said and demanded the authorities to redress the grievances faced by citizens of Dimapur.
(Page News Service)