State needs spl. cell on COVID-19

Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUN 1 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/1/2020 1:41:38 PM IST

With several committees at the state and district levels on COVID-19, these have added to administrative overreach and resultant confusion as the state attempts to strategise the fight against COVID-19 in Nagaland. 

In the latest development, a High Powered Committee chaired by the chief minister and chief secretary as member-secretary along with other ministers and advisers had been constituted to be overall in-charge for COVID-19. 

Earlier at the suggestion of the Governor of Nagaland during the second week of April, an apex ‘COVID-19 War Room’ was constituted, headed by the chief secretary and comprising of other top officials. 

In addition there are various other committees such as the Advisory Committee on COVID-19 set up by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) supposed to comprise of experts in medicine, socio-economy, supply chain, disaster management and emergency response.

There are also district task force for COVID-19 set up with various officials headed by respective DCs. Further the chief minister had also assigned ministers and advisors with the districts to monitor implementation of effective measures for prevention and control of COVID-19 in the State.

The confusion with regard to the overall handling of COVID-19 is exemplified in the case with returnees from Chennai who returned on May 22. While the control room Empowered Group for COVID-19 Dimapur had earlier given the number of Chennai returnees as 1463, the COVID-19 War Room Kohima gave the number of Chennai returnees as around 1200.

It may be noted that all the 43 COVID-19 cases were from the Chennai returnees. 

While there appears to be a multiple layer for COVID-19 related matter, the need for a special panel of scientists and medical specialists dedicated to handling of COVID-19 is being felt. This has led to a need for such a panel to provide singular focus and practical insight on how to handle the current COVID-19 pandemic with the resource available.

Even with regard to period of quarantine, virologists have said that since the coronavirus can survive inside the infected human body for at least 37 days, a safe period for quarantine should be for 40 days. This has been adopted in various states such as Kerala, Odisha etc. 

If a special panel of scientists or medical specialists specifically for COVID-19 was formed , this advise would be in their menu to prevent community transmission especially in rural areas. 

There were reports that the special Shramik train which brought the stranded returnees from Chennai on May 22 may not have been sanitised before returning with hundreds of migrant labourers to Bihar on May 23. This is in the light of suspicions that two of the returnees from Chennai had very high viral load which is considered highly infectious to surroundings.

Over 3000 expected to arrive
Over 3000 stranded citizens of Nagaland were expected to arrive state in the coming days. This include around 600 from Maharashtra, 1600 from Bangalore, 1000 from Delhi- 1000 and 500 from Kerala. 
Almost all those stranded in other part of the North East and those in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have arrived Nagaland, officials informed Nagaland Post
As on June 1, around 7000 people have arrived Nagaland.
Meanwhile, according to a report from the control room ‘Empowered Group’ Dimapur, 649 stranded citizens arrived Nagaland on June 1-- 57 from Delhi, 437 from Goa, 4 from Jorhat, 41 from Guwahati by train and 109 from Kolkata by Air India.
Further, 291 stranded citizens were expected to arrive on June 2 by train and bus from New Delhi, Dibrugarh, Guwahati and Dehradun.


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