Nagaland steps up preparedness level as returnees reach home

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 5/22/2020 10:09:14 AM IST

Nagaland has been gearing up to contain the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic as the first special train carrying 1477 stranded people from Chennai arrived Dimapur on Friday evening. Meetings, directives and various preventive measures continue across the state as more numbers of stranded people are expected to return home. From legislators to district administrations to the village authorities have been preparing their respective areas and institutional quarantine centres to tackle the pandemic as the nation entered its fourth phase of lockdown.

Sanitation & disinfectant tunnel installed at Rly Station
Prior to the arrival of the 1,477 returnees from Chennai, two sanitation & disinfectant tunnels were installed on Friday by Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNCCI) at Dimapur Railway Station.
The tunnel was inaugurated by APC and COVID-19 in-charge, Y. Kikheto Sema. While lauding the CNCCI for their contribution, he clarified on the installed tunnels that chemicals used for disinfectant were completely safe and other north-eastern states were already using the same composition for disinfecting people.
CNCCI chairman, Dr. Khekugha Muru in his introductory speech said that the procurements of the tunnels have been done after communicating with all the district chambers and taking in their suggestions. The tunnel has been dedicated to the people of the state on behalf of all the business persons, he added.
Murru also mentioned that chemicals used in the disinfectant tunnel comprises of silver nitrate and hydrogen peroxide and not sodium hypochlorite, which makes the composition safer.  The inaugural programme was also attended by CMO Dimapur, Dr. Tiasunep Pongener.
It may be mentioned that for the trial period, the tunnel will be used to disinfect the luggage that the returnees would be carrying and later upon the certification by ISO and Drug Controller General of India, it will be start using on humans too.
Meanwhile, APC and COVID-19 in-charge, Y. Kikheto Sema also distributed face-shields and hand sanitizers to the media persons and police personnel to facilitate their protection while performing their duties. (Staff Reporter)
SAVC informs stranded returnees
Signal Angami Village Council (SAVC) has informed all stranded returnees within its jurisdiction to produce valid travel documents and standard operating procedures (SOP) report provided by the competent authority before entering the village.
A press release from chairman, SAVC, Keneichosül Sophie and secretary, Melevi Natso informed the public within its jurisdiction that no stranded returnees from outside the state shall be entertained or allowed to enter the village jurisdiction without completion of 14 days institutional quarantine at government designated centres.
Further, it stated that despite completion, returnees are required to inform village council before their entry to village, and on returning, another 14 days home quarantine should be strictly observed. The release informed that the council would take stringent action against violators for failure to comply by the directives. 

DTHWF appeal landlords to waive-off rent
Dimapur town hostel welfare forum (DTHWF), has appealed house owners of its members to adhere to the deputy commissioner’s order, to waive off one month’s rent from the tenants. A press release from president Mongli and general secretary Dr. Imna requested the house owners to be compassionate towards the hostel tenants (DTHWF members), as the proprietors have been keeping empty hostels for the past two months. Further, DTHWF urged landlords not to force them to vacate their premises during the COVID-19 lockdown period. 
Kohima DTF hold meeting on management of quarantine centres
An emergency meeting of the Kohima District Task Force (DTF) led by legislators’ in-charge of Kohima district, Minister Housing and Mechanical, Tongpang Ozukum and advisor Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, Dr. Nicky Kire was held at DC’s office chamber on May 22. 
According to a DIPR report, the meeting was convened to discuss issues on the management of quarantine centres of the district by the DTF as directed by the Empowered Group. The meeting was chaired by DC Kohima, Gregory Thejawelie.
Noting that the Kohima DTF was given the responsibility to supervise the day to day management of the quarantine centres of the district, the forum discussed the following issues for better coordination and improvement of the system which has been put in place. The forum decided to deploy more security personnel at the centres for safety of the inmates and also to appoint four officers for the quarantine centres to coordinate with the people at facility centres for smooth function of the management system at the centres. 
In regard to hotels to be utilised as paid quarantine centres, the forum decided that medical workers will be made available on calls as and when needed, security personnel will be put in place and other issues will be implemented as per the SOP submitted by the CMO’s office, Kohima. It was also decided to put forward the suggestion to the government for returnees to be put up first in the facility centres and later to the paid hotels as and when the capacity at the centres are fully accommodated for better management of the system.
Besides the management issues at the centres, unwarranted directive issued by some individuals/organisation obstructing entry of returnees into their colony/ward even after completion of the quarantine period was also taken up where DC informed that meeting has been convened in this regard and directive will be issued in this matter to the concerned individual/organisations. He also informed the members that the Western Angami Public Organisation (WAPO) has decided to take care of their own people coming from outside the states at the quarantine centres set up in villages under their jurisdiction.
Highlighting the detailed management activities taking place at the quarantine centres, Chief Medical Officer, Kohima Dr. Vezokholu informed that nine medical teams have been formed for the quarantine centres consisting of eleven (11) medical staff and one doctor in each team who will be stationed at the centres on rotation wise basis. She informed that 1360 beds in K. Badze and 501 beds in Meriema quarantine centres have been put in place while renovation is going on at JNV Navodaya with a target of 200 plus beds in addition. Two teams were also formed for data entry at the centres from the CMO’s office with seven staff in each team, she added. Besides this, catering the inmates and the working staff and also cleaners and others management were also being taken care at the centres. She also informed that Faith Harvest Church has provided pack lunch to the inmates and working staff at K. Badze centres for four days.
H&FW minister visits CHC Jalukie
Minister of Health & Family Welfare, S. Pangnyu Phom visited designated COVID Hospital, CHC Jalukie on May 22 to oversee the ongoing preparedness of Peren DTF to contain COVID-19 crisis in the district. The minister was accompanied by advisor to IPR, SCERT & VG, Toshi Wungtung and advisor to Water Resources, Namri Nchang.
According to a DIPR report, addressing the meeting, S. Pangnyu Phom extended his appreciation towards the district administration, health department, police personnel, JACs and all other frontline workers for rendering their selfless services to contain COVID in the district. “We are in fight against the invisible enemy, so it is our responsibility to find ways and means to prevent ourselves”, the minister said. Phom expressed satisfaction in regard to preparedness of the district and further hoped all to continue the same in coming days. He also called upon the gathering that irrespective of tribe, race, colour, religion and political parties, they should come forward with collective efforts in the fight against the global pandemic
Advisor IPR, SCERT & Village Guard, Toshi Wungtung spoke on the rational use of PPEs and on how to maintain personal hygiene and public hygiene. Toshi further urged the members present in the gathering to maintain social distancing and to strictly follow the do’s and dont’s issued by the health department.
Advisor Water Resources, Namri Nchang said the state government is trying it’s best to provide the best infrastructure to all the District Hospitals. He also congratulated the civil societies, Church organizations for coming forward to assist the district administration and medical department during COVID crisis.
During a short briefing session at CHC Jalukie conference hall, CMO Peren, Dr. Denis Hangsing highlighted the present status of Peren district COVID Hospital as well as preparedness of quarantine centres. He also highlighted on the basic requirements and poor infrastructure of COVID Hospital. 
After the briefing session, the visiting team inspected isolation ward and the PPEs supplies and also had a meeting with Peren DTF, medical department and JAC at Customary Court, ADC office Jalukie under the chairmanship of DC Peren-cum-chairman of DTF, Sentiwapang Aier.
Meeting with stakeholders
A meeting to combat COVID-19 pandemic was held under the chairmanship of Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) and chairman, TFC-19 Shamator, Lankonsen Tsanglao.
According to DIPR report, the emergency meeting discussed the safety of the citizens of Shamator and to provide best services to returnees at the quarantines centres. 
The meeting was attended by representatives from Yimchungrü Tribal Council, Yimchungrü Akherü Arihako, Shamator Public Forum, Yimchungberü Arihako Shamator Area, Yimchungrü Baptist Borü Amukhongto, All Ward Leaders Shamator and Pastors, DBs, GBs.
Noklak SDTF holds review meeting
Noklak Sub-Divisional Task Force (SDTF) against COVID-19 held a review meeting on May 19 in the office premises of additional deputy commissioner, chaired by ADC Noklak M. Chaitanya Prasad. According to a DIPR report, during the meeting, the house deliberated and approved to constitute a managing committee for the quarantine centres as the returns of the locals from outside have began. The SDTF has identified three quarantine centres, namely, Model School Hostel at Danlepdong, KGBV Hostel and IAH Ayush Hospital Noklak with a total capacity of 50 beds. The house also agreed to appeal to churches and civil societies for assistance for the smooth running of the quarantine centres. House unanimously agreed to appeal the higher authority to quarantine the returnees at the district hq institution facilities at first and may send them to the sub-division only after the district hq facility is saturated. This is rationalized on the lack of proper facilities, personal, evacuation means etc in the sub-divisional level. The house further agreed to request the higher authority to allot at least 2000 masks and 50 PPEs to the sub-division on urgent basis.
On reviewing the market timing, it was agreed that the category of shops deemed essential may be allowed to open from 7 a.m till 2 p.m. However, all necessary measures such as maintaining of social distance, compulsory wearing of mask shall be strictly adhered. The shopkeeper shall reserve the right to refuse sell/merchandise to customers without mask. The house also made observation that there has been a spike in movement or public in the  town areas and therefore decided to make public announcement encouraging people to stay home and not move around unless absolutely necessary.
DTF Wokha holds meeting with colonies chairmen & civil societies
To discuss the matter pertaining to sending back the returnees for home quarantine who has entered the district before May 18 as per the SOP and guidelines issued by the government, a meeting was convened by the Deputy Commissioner & District Task Force, Wokha, Orenthung Lotha at the DC conference hall on May 22 attended by Lotha Hoho, Eloe Hoho, LSU and 14 colonies chairmen. 
According to a DIPR report, DC apprised the gathering and asserted that since more people will be entering the district from different parts of the country starting from May 22, it is not feasible to accommodate all, as the district is expecting around 600 to 700 hundred returnees. He stated that returnees who have entered the district before May 18 and are undergoing institutional quarantine at the quarantine facility centers are to be placed under home quarantine as per the SOP and guidelines of the government, where he sought the opinion of all the members in regard to this. All the members agreed to abide by the laid down regulations of the government during the meeting.
Deputy CMO Wokha, Dr. Zuben Kikon during the meeting said that returnees undergoing institutional quarantine are well taken care and are under the supervision of the doctors following all procedures.
DC further requested the medical department to constitute a surveillance team to monitor the activities of those persons undergoing home quarantine to ensure that guide line is strictly followed. 
The Deputy Commissioner thanked all the public of Wokha and civil societies for extending co-operation during the lockdown period and appealed all to restrain from spreading rumours in social media causing unnecessary panic among the communities.
Mon district to test all returnees from outside the state
Deputy Commissioner Mon, Thavaseelan K has notified that in view of the arrival of stranded persons from different parts of the country and with mandatory institutional quarantine arrangements in place, all asymptomatic and symptomatic returnees to Mon district will be tested using the TrueNat machine. 
According to a DIPR report, the TrueNat system is now a comprehensive assay for screening and confirmation of COVID-19 cases. Pooled testing will be undertaken to test every single returnee starting from the 5th day of their institutional quarantine period in Mon district. Pooling of samples will be done up to a maximum of five at a time to increase the screening capacity and to avoid the effect of dilution leading to false negatives. A pooled testing algorithm involves the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) screening of a specimen pool comprising multiple individual specimens. This will be followed by individual testing (pool de-convolution) only if a pool screen tests positive. 
It stated that random testing of samples will be used in parallel if there is an urgent need to test some returnees based on certain pre-defined parameters. The cartridges currently available in the District Hospital Mon will be reserved for testing as per the latest Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) protocol. The COVID-19 District Task Force, Mon and the Empowered Group for COVID-19, Mon are in the process of purchasing a fully automatic real time quantitative micro PCR analyzer (two channel-three wavelength system) in addition to new cartridges to test about 5000 people who are likely to return in multiple batches to the district over the course of the next few months. The cartridges and the quantitative micro PCR analyzer are being sponsored by the Konyak Union (KU). The entire district official machinery extended appreciation and gratitude to the KU, KBBB, KNSK and KSU for their continued support in bolstering the district’s COVID-19 response strategy.
Mon to quarantine inter-state returnees for 28 days 
All inter-state returnees to Mon district will have to be institutionally quarantined for a period of 28 days as decided by the elected members, KU, KBBB, KNSK and KSU. This is necessitated since effective home quarantine wouldn’t be possible on account of the deeply rooted and communitized social life of the people in Mon district. There have been instances where people have tested positive for COVID-19 after 14 days of quarantine/isolation. A 28-day quarantine period would help address such cases. 
The costs for taking care of the returnees for an extra 14 days in addition to the government of Nagaland mandated 14-day institutional quarantine would be borne through funds generated within the district through contributions from the elected members, well wishers and the community at large. 

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