Sunday, June 20, 2021
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NPP dismayed over lack of Nagaland’s preparedness on COVID-19

The first positive case of COVID-19 in Nagaland has opened the Pandora’s Box of utter negligence and lackadaisical attitude of the Nagaland State Government towards the deadly outcomes of the pandemic. It has revealed beyond doubt that our state including the hospitals are totally unprepared for this calamity. The state government seems to be least bothered about the frontline health workers. Perhaps the State Government needs to open its eyes and witness the fact that they are the ones who are suffering the most as they are exposed to high level of risks. Unfortunately, the present social trend is that people are despising the medical workers and do not even show a sign of gratitude towards them. There have been certain instances where the ambulance drivers, nurses, quarantined individuals and their families including their colonies / villages are facing social stigma and discrimination which is totally intolerable in a Christian State like ours. The government must ensure the protection and welfare of the frontline health workers as without them, our first line of medical support will be compromised. God forbid, if in the event of an all out breakout of the disease on a bigger scale, and in the absence of the frontline health workers and if the nearby states also refuse to take in any patients in the near future, on whom should the public turn to for respite.

We would like to question here the inefficiency of the State Government in handling the whole situation. What has the government done till now except eye-washing the general public? Why are the doctors and nurses being provided with expired and inferior quality PPEs. The pictures of mould infected N-95 masks and dilapidated hospital buildings that are circulating in the newspapers and social media speaks volumes about the total disregard of the Nagaland State Government towards the apathy of the frontline health workers which is putting everyone of us at high levels of risk which will lead to more positive cases in days to come.

NPP Nagaland State would like to tender our categorical displeasure over the willful negligence of the citizens of our state by the government as there is no attempt on the part of the Chief Minister, most of the Ministers and MLAs to come out and support and to allay the fears of the public by taking bold steps like true leaders instead of going into hiding. We are totally dissatisfied by this attitude of the leaders of our state.

Here, we would also demand the State Government to make necessary arrangements for supplying nutritious cooked food by hygienic workers and supply adequately to those on quarantine, patients in the hospitals, frontline health workers, etc. We also demand the State Government to provide incentives to the medical fraternity like some other state governments, where the salaries of doctors and nurses have been doubled. We also request that appropriate and immediate steps be taken for those people of Nagaland who are stranded outside our State due to the lockdown.

We do understand that the government is under tremendous pressure due to the pandemic. However, had the government been more accountable, transparent and not corrupt from before, things would have been smoother and worked well for everyone. Mere distribution of food items and advertising the same over social media by the State Government is not going to solve this pandemic but the need of the hour is to be fully equipped with proper medical and protection equipments for all concerned. As regards the distribution of food items, numerous other NGOs and civic bodies are already doing a commendable service and much better than the State Government for which we are really grateful to them. Also we advise the State Government to take the help and assistance of general public from the NGOs, Villages, Colonies, etc. if at all there is a dearth of man power in handling the situation. However before engaging such volunteers, they should be properly trained, equipped with PPEs and provided with incentives and proper facilities. We also demand the government to take immediate and transparent action in purchasing and ordering the best quality, complete and adequate sets of PPEs, ventilators, testing kits, etc. for the entire state on war footing before a public unrest takes place.

At this juncture, we would also request the opposition parties, the civil societies, the tribal hohos, NGOs, etc. to come forward and raise your legitimate voice before the pandemic becomes an all out disaster because of the lack of proper facilities provided by the government despite all the financial grants being sanctioned by the Central Government. We should all shed aside our personal differences and collectively think about the benefit of the people who are suffering at this time. We should not shy away from highlighting the lapses of the government but do constructive criticism for the welfare of all. Here we would like to assure our unflinching support to all concerned including the State Government for every possible positive help at all times.

 NPP Nagaland State

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