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NPF asks H&FW Minister to step down on moral ground


Demands installation of COVID-19 testing laboratory
Dimapur, April 16: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Thursday asked the state Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Pangnyu Phom to step down on moral ground “since he has failed miserably to tackle/handle the present corona virus pandemic assignment in the state as Minister in-charge.
The NPF also reiterated its contention that Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio should gracefully pave way for an alternative arrangement if he feels that he is unable to tackle the situation.
In a press communiqué, issued by its Press Bureau, the NPF said that being in Opposition, it is not being consulted by the Government but has been extending support and cooperation to fight the present pandemic and have been helping in a very humble way to help the poor and needy. In the event of any failure in tackling the pandemic, the present Government would be accountable, it stated.
The NPF said the Governor of the state has once again stepped in to take control of the present situation, itself has proven without any reasonable doubt the PDA Government is unable to tackle the situation.
It said the Chief Minister and the Health Minister should have been in the picture and played major role at this time of crisis because public health and sanitation; hospitals and dispensaries is a State Subject.
“See how our counterpart Assam Government is responding to the present pandemic by providing all necessary requirements and even importing some medical kits from outside the country without depending on the Centre. Whereas, Nagaland Government is receiving huge relief fund specifically to tackle the Covid 19 but is miserably failing,” the NPF stated.
Stating that the Covid-19 is an infectious disease and it is well within the state list, the NPF said it is the duty of the state Government to provide good health care to each citizen even without the assistance of the Central Government.
The NPF also stated that there had been complaints popping up from nurses and emergency ambulance drivers engaged for Covid-19 duty, until matters were hushed-up or gag order issued.
In a letter to MS, Covid Hospital Dimapur, the nursing personnel appealed for PPE without which they would not attend the virus suspected patients. Nurses were also not authorized to speak as per state government’s ‘gag order’ issued yesterday, it added.
“One wonders how the matter could be small when it is a matter of life and death for nurses and every other frontline workers. And, is ‘gag order’ a right act in a democratic form of society where grievances are not suppressed?” it asked.
It also asked how would the state government respond to the protest of emergency ambulance drivers at City Tower that went viral yesterday. The ambulance drivers were asking for basic protective masks, gloves, gowns, health insurance, food and lodging and they complained of inferior quality gowns which were provided to them and told to wash and re-use, the NPF stated.
The NPF demanded a quality laboratory should be immediately installed and has to be certified and maintain standard operating procedures. It said there has to be trained technicians specialized for the sophisticated COVID-19 Test and if these are not followed the testing would give wrong results and create more confusion. The state labs if install should properly coordinate with any reputed national institute for confirmatory test, it added.
It also asked the government to ensure sufficient supply of certified PPE kits to every part of the state specifically for fighting against the Covid 19 (and not for prevention of other disease like HIV/AIDS & H1N1) and ensure availability of all kinds of medicines in all over the state.
It said Zion Hospital cannot be lockdown like that but instead it should be sanitised and declared as Safe Zone within 24 hours and let the needy people avail medical aid from the Hospital.
It further said the state government must ensure the availability of essential commodities especially in far-flung villages and check the price rise of the essential commodities. (Page News Service)