Big leap for Nagaland

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/22/2020 1:21:53 PM IST

 In a way, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed positively towards the setting up of Nagaland’s first Bio Safety Laboratory -3 which was inaugurated by the chief minister Neiphiu Rio at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima(NHAK) on May 21,2020. Henceforth all tests for COVID-19 will be done in the lab which has a capacity to undertake testing for a total of 70 swap samples by two machines having a capacity of 35 samples each. Another laboratory specified as BSL-2 is to come up at Dimapur soon. According to official sources, the BSL-3 at NHAK was set up at a cost of Rs.6.5 4 crore while the BSL project at Dimapur will cost Rs.2.99 crore. Both have been set up through the state’s own funding. The laboratory in Kohima was set to commence testing from May 22 and it will be a big boost in the fight to contain COVID-19. Till now, samples to test COVID-19 from Nagaland used to be sent either to Assam or Manipur. A sample test will take between 11 to 12 hours to obtain the result. That the state has two laboratories to test viral and bacterial causing contagious diseases is a tribute to the efforts of the state government to pursue the objective. State chief minister Neiphiu Rio and his team including Nagaland Governor R.N.Ravi have immensely contributed towards the setting up of both laboratories. Various organisations have demanded the setting up of a similar BSL-3 set up in Dimapur. They have based their demands on ground reality that since Dimapur being an endemic zone for various viral and bacterial diseases , there was a need to also have a BSL-3 set up in the district. They concluded that since Dimapur has a much higher incidence of various viral and bacterial diseases , setting up a BSL-3 laboratory would be befitting. There may not be much difference between levels 2 and 3 so if that is so, then it stands to reason that a level 3 laboratory should also be set up in Dimapur. Doing so would provide virologists, microbiologists and laboratory technicians working in the laboratory with ample opportunities to help contain various infectious diseases. Biosafety Level or-BSL- is a set of biocontainment precautions required to isolate hazardous biological agents in an enclosed manufacturing or research laboratory. COVID-19 or coronavirus is a deadly virus that causes serious and often lethal symptoms. It is transmitted from human to human through inhalation of virus-infected atmosphere, objects touched by infected patients etc. Since it’s a new strain, there is no specific vaccine that can treat it and that’s what makes coronavirus highly dangerous. According to official sources, the BSL-3 set up at NHAK is among the best in the country. Manning such a highly sophisticated laboratory in a highly dangerous environment would be a stiff challenge. What is most important is that those laboratory scientists prove their mettle and earn distinction in the region. Hopefully the reputation that the BSL-3 set up in Kohima being among the best in terms of technology and advancement will also be complemented by the performances of those working in the laboratory. Not only COVID-19 but the fight against other viral and bacterial diseases will receive the biggest boost when both the laboratories commence work. With COVID-19 pandemic proving to be the biggest threat today, efforts at containment will be given the biggest boost with testing. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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