State designates COVID-19 hospitals

State designates COVID-19 hospitals
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 25 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/25/2020 12:21:57 PM IST

State chief secretary Temjen Toy claimed that though Nagaland had no positive COVID-19 case so far, yet the State government was leaving no stone unturned to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

When contacted, the chief secretary told Nagaland Post that the State government had decided to convert Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) and District Hospital Dimapur (DHD) to “COVID-19 hospitals”, reserved exclusively to treat COVID-19 patients.
In a separate communiqué, Health & Family Welfare principal director Dr. Vizolie Z Suokhrie stated that Dimapur Tourist Lodge had been identified and designated as quarantine centre for Dimapur district, while DHD had been designated as COVID- 19 hospital. 
Dr. Suokhrie said that designated quarantine centres had been identified in Kohima too, while Chedema AYUSH Hospital would be the COVID-19 hospital. He added that NHAK would be converted to COVID-19 hospital, as and when the situation demanded. He specified that the COVID-19 hospitals would exclusively attend to and treat cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza-like Infection (ILI).
Pointing out that there was no testing centre in the State due to lack of bio-safety level laboratory both in government and private establishments, Suokhrie said samples were collected in all district hospitals and sent in a special Viral Transport Medium (VTM) to the designated lab identified by Government of India.
Meanwhile, Toy informed this reporter that in-patients of both NHAK and DHD would be transferred to private hospitals, while ensuring that the patients were comfortable and receiving the same facilities and treatment.
“There will be no compromise in their treatment and facilities they have been receiving so far. The doctors who have been attending to them will continue to do so but in a different hospital. This will minimise the patients’ risk to the virus, in case of an outbreak,” he assured.
The chief secretary also appreciated the private hospitals for coming forward and offering their assistance. He divulged that private hospitals had assured not to charge for the ward/room occupied by the patients.
Not ruling out applying the same method in other districts, he said districts like Mon, Kiphire and Peren had also been identified. He, however, added that this would be taken up as and when the need arose.
“Without compromising on the health services in other districts, we are currently focusing on Dimapur and Kohima. In case of an outbreak, these districts could become the hotpots,” he warned.
Toy claimed that the State had “enough” personal protective equipments (PPE), ventilators and other required medical essentials. He said more such equipments were on the way while many more were still with the manufacturing companies due to delay in transportation. He however added that the State government would ensure that the equipments were delivered.
Asked whether the pandemic had exposed inadequacies of the State’s healthcare system, he remarked that “nobody had faced such a situation in his or her lifetime. This was not the time to throw blame at each other and everyone must take this as a walk-up call.”
After the first detection of COVID-19 case in India, Toy said Nagaland had so far screened (thermal) 30,000-40,000 people. 
He said people who had entered Nagaland before the lockdown were advised to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and added that medical teams were constantly monitoring such people kept under observation. 
He also acknowledged the services and assistance of different departments, particularly Nagaland Police, for their service. He mentioned that District Task Forces (DTF) along with the district administrations and police were monitoring the situation across the State.
Don’t travel, stay where you are: The chief secretary said there were reports of many people, particularly from towns, attempting to travel or go back to their native places/villages.
Stressing that social distancing was vital to prevent spreading of the virus, he urged the people not to travel but continue remaining where they were till the lockdown was lifted.
Toy said reports were being received of people going on picnic and socializing and warned of taking strict action against those indulging in such activities.
“Lockdown is not a holiday. People must start taking this seriously. Government can only enforce this up to a certain point. Ultimately it is individuals who have to cooperate,” he said.
With regard to racial profiling and stigmatization of North East people in other states following the outbreak of COVID-19 including non-Nagas in some parts of the state, Toy urged all to be “sensitive”.
COVID-19: 5 test negative; results of 3 awaited
Health & Family Welfare principal director Dr Vizolie Z Suokhrie informed that out of eight coronavirus suspected samples sent for testing till date, five had tested negative while reports of three were still awaited. He said  as on March 25, 1543 individuals were under surveillance and home-quarantined.
He said the samples were collected from all District Hospitals and sent in a special ‘Viral Transport Medium’ (VTM) to the designated Lab, identified by Government of India.  All the district SPs have identified specific vehicles to transfer the samples to the Labs at the earliest. Meanwhile, Dr. Suokhrie appealed to the public not to spread rumours and to verify such news/ information with the concerned district authorities.

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