State to set up COVID-19 testing centre

Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/4/2020 1:16:14 PM IST

4 Naga scientists recruited to run the lab: H&FW

Nagaland is all geared to set up the much needed testing centre (laboratory) for COVID-19 by April at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK), if the ongoing works were not hampered, Health & Family Welfare principal director Dr Vizolie Z. Suokhrie said on Saturday.

Talking to Nagaland Post, Dr Vizolie Z. Suokhrie informed that four Naga scientists, who have had the experience in bio-safety laboratories, have been recruited by the department. He exuded confidence that the lab would be functional by April.

Further, Dr. Suokhrie said that a six-member team from Nagaland was currently working out the modalities with experts from Assam and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The team is expected to submit the proposal within a day. Once the department receives the sanction amount from any funding agency, the department will working on war footing to activate the lab within a month.

Dr. Suokhrie said NHAK has the infrastructure to establish the testing centre. “We are not waiting for anything, and will start the work immediately,” he added. He said it was not as simple as people think to setup a lab for COVID-19. First of all, high standards of bio-safety measures were needed to be in place, he said adding, if not it will be like harboring the virus and Nagaland will become another epicentre if bio-safety measure are not in place.

Meanwhile, in addition to three COVID-19 hospitals-- one in Kohima, one in Mokokchung and one in Dimapur, he said more COVID-19 hospitals will be set up as other district hospitals were ready to activate their teams. Altogether 13 COVID-19 hospitals will be ready by next in the state.

Governor in touch with Health ministry: Nagaland Governor, R.N. Ravi also said that Nagaland was in the process of setting up a laboratory to test COVID-19 cases. For this, Ravi said was in touch with the Health ministry and the ICMR. With their support, Ravi said he was hopeful to have the lab ready and functional soon.

Medical professionals volunteer: Sixty professionals from various councils across the state have decided to offer their services to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was agreed upon during a meeting held on April 4 at the office chamber of Health & Family Welfare principal director with professional council members from the Medical Council of India, Ayush Council, Nursing Council, Pharmacy Council, Dental Council, Technician Council, etc. The councils would be submitting the list of registered members to the Health department, a DIPR report stated. The members agreed to jointly draft a plan to tackle any kind of eventuality.

Meanwhile, H&FW department has partnered with All Nagaland Counsellors Association (ANCA) to provide counselling services through WhatsApp and over the phone for mental health and well being. Till date, 13 counselling sessions were provided through phone calls by the association.

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