Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Is Nagaland really free of Coronavirus?

When almost the whole world is on lockdown, due to the ravaging coronavirus (CORONA VIRUS DISEASE of 2019 – COVID-19), why is there not a single Positive case of Coronavirus in Nagaland? Is Nagaland so healthy and a health paradise? Or is it that we do not know whether we are sick! Yes, in the olden Naga days the cases of Stroke, Cardiac arrest, blood vessel rupture and consequent internal hemorrhage and the like, were taken as victims of the devil; and it was taken as a taboo to join the mourning family. The victim’s family also suffered from social stigma and could not venture out for many days. It was so because we did not know why these sudden attacks happened because we did not have doctors, we did not know what Medical Science was; we did not know why these attacks occur. Now we know that these are common ailments and the affected victim or the bereaved family members are never a forbidden lot. Not only these diseases; but we did not even know what is cancer, diabetes, kidney stone, etc etc. In the same way and after six decades (fifty seven years) of statehood, are we still not conscious of our sickness? Are our blood samples all negative of coronavirus because the samples reach the Testing laboratory after the virus are all dead? Are the blood samples really tested to ensure the negativity or positivity from coronavirus? Is it not possible that there can be many COVID-19 patients in Nagaland; but we are unable to identify the patients: like in the olden Naga days? Are our health workers not competent to manage laboratories, to carry out the needed tests or are the govt authorities not concerned with the welfare of its people? Is it not a shame that we do not have a fully equipped laboratory in Nagaland after six decades of statehood? Let us not forget that in the North east India Nagaland is the oldest state; after only Assam. Our leaders must bow down their heads in shame for the present state of affairs in Nagaland: the backwardness in all fronts, the lack of all basic facilities. It is also given to understand that the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for the year 2019-20 is exhausted: we do not know for what purpose. The writer is from Wokha and it is to inform the readers that the District Hospital (Motsuo Memorial District Hospital), Wokha, does not even have an X Ray machine. Will the Nagaland H&FW deptt immediately install the X-Ray machine, in the District Hospital? Will the Nagas continue to remain silent spectators? All concerned Nagas should pause for a thought on this issue. Without much deliberation and emphasis it is strongly urged that the Nagaland state govt immediately set up a Master Laboratory, in the state, which should be manned by experts like pathologists, epidemiologists, radiologists, all kinds Laboratory technicians etc with all instruments/equipments. The laboratory is needed not only for coronavirus; but for all tests for all time to come. Today it is coronavirus, tomorrow another epidemic or pandemic can break out; so shall we keep sending the samples outside for tests? We better wake up and install immediately a Master Laboratory of our own. If money is the reason, divert all other funds and give priority to the setting up of a master laboratory. This is a long delayed necessity and I am sure that all right thinking Nagas should agree with this view.

Er. Mhondamo Ovung, Wokha Town, Nagaland

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