Missteps over COVID challenge

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/6/2020 1:26:40 PM IST

 On May 27, there was a huge uproar across Nagaland, when the first case of a stranded returnee who was tested positive for COVID-19, was allowed to travel along with others to Tuensang by a bus even before the test result was confirmed. For the state government which is battling the onslaught of one of the worst and most challenging of crisis, it was a big embarrassment. Following the outpouring of rage, in response, the government set up a judicial inquiry committee to ascertain the facts and circumstances that led to such a blunder. The incident should have made the authorities learn a bitter lesson and ensure that in future such missteps did not recur. However, this was not to be when again in a similar instance on June 4 a female returnee who was also tested positive for COVID-19 was sent along with others in a bus to Jalukie. Whether these were conscious or unconscious acts is yet to be ascertained but nevertheless they only served to confirm the worst suspicions that the state government , when faced with real challenges has proved it was yet to be on a high level of preparedness in containing the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. These two incidents are not only blunders but very costly ones too because they have also exposed others to the risk of contacting the virus during the journey. Perhaps other co-passengers were unaware that one of them was COVID-19 positive and may have made contact in some way or the other. COVID-19 is highly dangerous and very contagious as an infected person can infect multiple people at a time and each of them in turn, can also infect multiple people all within a very short span of time. This is how COVID-19 has become the world’s most dangerous virus which has spread to 213 countries and territories across the world. The efforts of the state government to contain COVID-19 has also served many lessons for those in power and in high government positions. The magnitude of the pandemic has severely challenged the ability of the state in providing the required manpower, equipments and infrastructure to meet the demands. Nagaland is not the only state which is battling not only spread of COVID-19 but also bureaucratic missteps and confusion. The priority of the government is not only about purchase of equipments but also involves assessing whether it has the required number of medical doctors, nurses, frontline workers and volunteers. The planning involves two components- a panel of qualified scientists( epidemiologists, virologists, pulmonologists, physicians etc) and bureaucrats involved in providing necessary medical equipments, quarantine facilities and manpower etc. The health care system is under severe stress due to insufficient number of doctors and nurses. Even those manning various quarantine centres are also overworked. The public rose to the occasion by donating protective equipments and food. There are reports that some inmates in quarantines are creating problems and for which the staff are finding it very difficult to handle. Leaving aside the issue of inferior quality of protective equipments or ventilators, what is most worrisome, is that medical teams are over worked, stressed out but compelled to work under very difficult conditions. The government is trying its best but unfortunately, it has to battle not only the virus but its inability to get its act together at such a crucial time.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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