NPCC, NPF slam state govt’s handling of COVID-19 crisis

DIMAPUR, APR 13 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/13/2020 1:36:19 PM IST

State government caught unaware, says NPCC

Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) Monday slammed the state government and said that announcement of Nagaland’s first COVID-19 positive case caught the government “completely” unaware and “confirmed the worst fears of people” living under lockdown for past 20 days”

NPCC through its communication department said that the “incompetence” of political leadership in Nagaland was more glaring than ever before even as the threat of pandemic increased. It said that the state government’s “reluctance” to opt for participatory approach from all political parties was “baffling.” NPCC has urged the state government to rise to the occasion at this juncture and create an all inclusive approach. 

Congress party maintained that last minute work in sprucing up some hospitals or health centres would not be enough to handle the flow of patients if COVID infection spreads. 

It said that Nagaland should have COVID-19 testing lab in place by now other than being assured that it was in progress. NPCC said deficiency of PPE and other critical medical equipment still continued, which it added was “utterly disgraceful and demoralizing to those frontline health care workers.”

Visits to hospitals, distribution of some medical kits and food items, the Congress said were the only visible work of PDA government headed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio, who it said had been at the helm for major part of past 17 years. “If only importance was given to social and health sectors, things would have not been as bad as it is now,” NPCC said. It further said that the “uninterrupted focus” on festivals, entertainment and other merry making activities has exposed Nagaland badly before the nation.

Also, slamming the ruling party legislators, the NPCC said that it was “disturbing” that the legislators were on “a publicity spree” while handing over government procured items like hand sanitizer, mask, gloves and food items to district administration or people. Congress alleged that the public were being made to believe that the essential items were being personally procured and donated by the minister or ruling MLA, which it said was “distressing in these extraordinary times.”

Further, NPCC said that the Centre has, in the past month alone, sanctioned hundreds of crores to fight COVID-19. Besides, it said enough food grains have been made available to the extent of provisioning three months share in advance to ration card holders. Congress claimed it was also announced that major part of state disaster management funding was being used to procure rice for distribution to cover even those without ration cards. 

However, NPCC alleged “huge deficiency” in ground delivery, which it said was “laced with discrimination and favouritism” particularly on political lines.

It demanded that all districts and assembly constituencies must be given fair and equal treatment without any political bias. 

Nothing on the ground to combat pandemic: NPF

Naga People’s Front (NPF) has lambasted the PDA government for “proudly claiming” that the state was fully prepared while in reality nothing was installed and instituted on the ground to effectively combat the pandemic. NPF through its press bureau said some consignment of medical kits and equipment reaching the state through a special chartered plane gave a sigh of relief. It, however, questioned whether those medical kits and equipment were of international/national standard or sub-standard ones?
NPF said inferior quality product would put the safety of the frontlines workers at risk. It maintained that a person from Dimapur, who was tested positive for covid-19 been, might have also gone through screening when he landed, but could not be detected was “a solid ground” to cast aspersion on the medical kits and equipment supplied and used in the state.
NPF has urged the state government to “clear this doubt” in order to boost the morale of the frontline workers in particular and to ease the tension of the general public at large.
Further, the NPF alleged that confirmed case of corona virus proved that government was not seriously and effectively handling the present pandemic, which it said was “extremely disturbing and worrisome.”
Despite getting support and cooperation from the entire citizens including the opposition party, NPF said the government could not take care of one single patient whose case have been finally confirmed from Guwahati.
NPF wondered how the state government was going to curb the situation in case the state was faced with more of such confirmed cases.
Stating that it was “not convinced” with the state government’s explanation on first confirmed case, the NPF said the government despite knowing that the person had a travel history “casually handled” the case, which it added that was “utter carelessness” on the part of the government. 
It said the government has put the lives of thousands of citizens of Dimapur “under tension” by carelessly handling the particular case.
NPF also said that government claim of “fully prepared to face any eventuality” appeared to be “only propaganda” rather than providing the most required medical facilities. 
NPF said it was “extremely embarrassing” that the state government could not procure even a testing machines/lab. 
Claiming that the Jain community in Dimapur celebrated Mahavir Jayanti at Marwari Patti on April 6, 2020 despite lockdown, the NPF questioned if the Christian could close down Churches and observe Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday at home, what prompted the government to allow the Jain community to have social/religious gathering during the lockdown period?
NPF said it still had many questions over the way the government was tackling the present pandemic, but would come out slowly basing on the factual report from party workers on the ground.
Meanwhile, NPF has suggested relaxing total lockdown w.e.f. April 15, 2020 within the state with some regulations since the government has assured the citizens that it was fully prepared to tackle COVID-19. NPF suggested following regulations: only movement within the districts for the time being; Inter-district movement of vehicle and pedestrians may hold on for a week’s time and special medical team may be assigned to focus more on Dimapur district; schools may remain closed till the end of April 2020 and the lost classes/days may be recovered by shortening the duration of summer vacation and seal Airport, Railway Station and Inter-State Bus/Taxi terminals till the end of the April 2020.

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