The better time to learn lessons
Every natural calamity that had affected humanity is a fulfilment of the Biblical prophesies for the end times. The incessant natural calamities of floods, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, pestilences and the incurable diseases are predicted in the Bible as every Christian knows. Despite being such a nominal Christian as myself, I too believe in the Bible no matter how theoretical I am. I do believe the ongoing global COVID-19 plague which is so contiguous and the spread of which is so spectacular that this may be considered as one of the major precursors to the inevitable Biblical Tribulation.
Meanwhile, India is struggling to contain the spread of the plague by imposing the lockdown of the country for 21 days, and yet despite the best efforts the relentless rate of the spread of the disease vis-a-vis the death rate in the country is a matter of concern. India has maximum slum areas and much higher population living below poverty line comparing to those countries as Italy, Spain or USA which are badly affected. In the event of failing to contain the spiking spread of the disease and allowing it to reach such magnitude of the worst affected countries are in now, only God knows, what a terrible situation we may face.
Whereas, at this critical juncture, when the Govt. of Nagaland is trying its best to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and getting ready to tackle such positive cases as and when detected in the State, it is irrational for anyone to politicize any related issue and unwise for anyone to take undue advantage for political or personal mileage.
This is the time for us, irrespective of belonging to different political parties, Govt. servant or public, professional or laymen to stand together as a people while fighting against the plague. Whatever and whenever the directives are issued by the State Govt. for the general public to observe social distancing during this period of time, we all have to abide by it since it is for the safety of each individual.
Whereas, extra efforts have to be given by the administration to streamline the commuters during rush hour for window shopping which is found to be the very defeat of the lockdown lest better discipline is enforced. My apprehension is that the worst can occur when the lockdown is relaxed as we know how contagious is the virus. As for Nagaland, we may have to opt for the lockdown to be the better weapon against the pandemic rather than relaxing the social distancing by which the safety of the people will be put to high risk. I am also made to imagine how many physicians will have the commitment to give sincere care to the COVID-19 patients sacrificially here in Nagaland.
Till today, the Health Department has been assuring the people of Nagaland that out of the tests of the samples so far not a single positive case is found as yet. If at all Nagaland is indeed kept free from the plague, its all because of the sheer providence of the Living God who has listened to the prayers of those few true believers. We thank God.
The Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot reportedly claimed to have screened 5 crore of his citizens out of 7.5 crore of the population for COVID-19. This Govt. has done the basic requirement which is the only surest way to overcome the disease. The physicians know it better and yet I am made to understand that a healthier person with stronger immune system tend to delay the development of COVID-19 symptoms despite being infected as compared to a person having weaker health. Thus, such healthy person can easily spread the virus due to ignorance and non-detection. Therefore, what the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the UN has advised with the slogan ‘Test, Test and Test’ is the most imperative challenge at the moment. Does Nagaland Govt. has sufficient and reliable testing kits for the citizens to have the requisite test particularly of those living in a very vulnerable area like Dimapur? At this critical moment, imposing lockdown alone may not save the people unless the Health Department adopts similar step undertaken by Rajasthan Govt. Lest the Govt. intensifies its preventive measures, even when someone dies of COVID-19 in Nagaland, the State will remain perfect with no positive case.
The Nagaland Health Department has been reassuring the citizens of Nagaland that the suspected COVID-19 samples from Nagaland which are being sent to laboratories in other States for test and the returned results are all reliable since it is always done according to specifications. Good. Yet, a point of concern is when any of those designated laboratories is placed under pressure by the owner for various reasons, the samples from Nagaland may not be tested on priority and on time as required. Should there be any case of the sample being tested after the expiry of the prescribed time of 48 hours or should the Viral Testing Medium (VTM) vessel being exposed to abnormal temperature, there is possibility for the laboratory to furnish distorted result. When the virus in the sample is no more alive, the test cannot produce the accurate result, and such result will only misguide. The critical analysis is not intended to discredit anyone, and yet the issue in question is extremely imperative as it relates to life and death.
There can’t be better time than the moment for the general public to introspect ourselves as to how we (including myself), the citizens of Nagaland, behaved and what we all did during those State Assembly elections. Very few voters voted honestly in the fear of God without mortgaging their souls for they feared that the disobedience may fetch the wrath of God in the form of plague, pestilence, earthquake and drought followed by famine. There can be no better instance than the impending danger of the pandemic threatening our very existence at the moment by which we are to learn our lesson that we deserved to face this situation because of the election sins we all had committed in particular. Because of the most corrupt system of elections in Nagaland, we failed to establish even a single virological laboratory during the last 57 years. The citizens of Nagaland are usually defeated spiritually and morally during the elections under the weight of sheer greed for easy money, barring those few honest ones, and we used to be in hallucinated heaven in which such basic medical facilities are not considered useful hoping that no evil challenge can ever befall Nagaland so long as our votes could fetch money. Those of us who used to be under the greed spell during the time of elections used to prefer Nagaland to be without proper medical facilities, educational facilities, proper roads, etc. for temporal benefits. I am not exonerating the concerned authorities who equally remained myopic and miserably failed to develop such requisite assets for the State despite having all the opportunities. Yet, basically, we, the dishonest voters, are responsible for the retrogression of Nagaland.
Look at the pathetic situation in Nagaland in the face of the pandemic threat of COVID-19. To keep Nagaland safe from the most dangerous disease of our time, the Health Department is struggling to send suspected samples to laboratories belonging to our neighbours as we do not have a single laboratory. And when the infection rate is on the verge of peaking in the country, the Health Department of Nagaland is divulging its contemplation of establishing one or two laboratories in Nagaland. If the unscrupulous voters have the habit of being submerged under hallucinated heaven during elections, the responsible authorities too have the same state of mind as though Nagaland is insulated under Art 371(A) from threat of natural calamities and thus such basic facilities were not established. While we remained casual, the disease has overtaken us.
Nevertheless, something better is definitely better than nothing. Similarly, the testing laboratories which the State Govt. contemplates to establish at the moment are better than Nagaland remaining to be the parasite to our neighbour States. The proposed Bio Safety Level-3 (BSL) at Kohima and the BSL-2 in Dimapur have to be developed as announced without delay. Meanwhile, as some of the bureaucrats too shared their concern that such laboratories must be developed according to international specifications, the quality of the asset should never be compromised due to percentage cut. If the State Govt. cannot ensure development of quality laboratory, we better not waste the funds and risk the lives of the people.