State govt fast-tracking to set up labs

Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/7/2020 12:20:32 PM IST


As reported in Nagaland Post, the State government is fast-tracking setting up of two COVID-19 testing laboratories in Kohima and Dimapur and the labs are expected to be set up soon.

Till now, all suspected samples for Covid-19 from Nagaland are sent to laboratories in Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Imphal.

Health & Family Welfare minister S. Pangnyu Phom on Sunday informed Nagaland Post that the state government was planning to setup a COVID-19 testing laboratory in Dimapur in addition to the proposed bio safety laboratory at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima.

Addressing media persons at IDSP hall here on Tuesday afternoon, secretary Health & Family Welfare, Kesonyu Yhome, who heads the four-member committee to set up testing centres in the State, claimed that all efforts were on to set up Bio Safety Level (BSL) 3 lab at Naga Hospital Authority, Kohima (NHAK) and BSL-2 lab at Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research (CIHSR), as per highest international standards.

He however pointed out that though the State was racing against time to set up the centres, it would take some time to set them up as security protocol would have to be maintained. But he assured that the committee was on the job and that it had set a target of a few week to get them running.

Though manpower was a challenge for the State government, he said some individuals had been identified and they would be sent out for training during the process of setting up the centres. As BSL had to be certified by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Yhome said the committee was taking every step only after consulting ICMR.

He asserted that every step of protocol for setting up of BSL level 3 would be followed so that there was no compromise on quality, adding that the matter was being fast-tracked by the offices of governor and chief minister to ensure that the test labs could be established soon. Yhome said after completion of the process in setting up the labs, ICMR would inspect them and if any problem was found in security protocol, the council would not certify them. Therefore the centres would only start rolling up after the certification, he added. Other members in the committee are CIHSR director Dr Sedevi, pathologist Dr V Khamo and Indian Council for Agricultural Research director Dr Abhijit Mitra.

Meanwhile, H&FW principal director Dr. Vizolie Z Suokhrie claimed that the State government was following the highest protocol in transporting samples for testing by using “Viral Testing Medium”. He said the medium was reliable and that there should not be any doubt in the minds of the people in this regard.

Further, H&FW principal secretary Menukhol John informed that all districts hospitals in the State were being converted into COVID-19 hospitals. He however clarified that OPD service in these hospitals would continue till the time COVID-19 positive cases were detected in them and that necessary instructions had been issued in this regard. 

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