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COVID-19 lab to operate in Nagaland from May

By NASREEN HABIB

GUWAHATI, April 29 - On April 14, a resident of Dimapur who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the commercial hub of Nagaland, showed symptoms of COVID-19 and was brought to the GMCH here for testing. The confirmation of his being tested positive for the disease came from Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma via Twitter.

Due to lack of any testing facility in Nagaland, the COVID-19 patient had to be shifted from Dimapur to Guwahati, covering a distance of nearly 300 km.

Significantly, the patient concerned has not been included in Nagaland�s tally of COVID-19 patients so far. Assam, too, has not included the patient in its tally. �The sample was tested in Guwahati, so the COVID-19 code was generated there. We have already referred the matter to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and we expect a response soon,� said Dr Nyan Kikon, Nodal Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland.

As many as 639 samples from Nagaland have been sent to laboratories in Dibrugarh, Guwahati and Imphal for testing so far. �All these testing centres have been very cooperative and we are grateful for their assistance, especially those in charge of the centres,� said Dr Kikon.

He said that a fully functional laboratory for testing COVID-19 samples would start operating in Nagaland from the second week of May. It may be noted here that the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court has directed the Nagaland Government to set up at least two COVID-19 testing laboratories soon in response to a PIL filed by a Kohima resident.

The Nagaland Health Department, however, declined to comment on the availability of PPE suits and masks for healthcare workers.

It may be noted that the foundation stone of the first medical college in Nagaland was laid by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in 2014, which is scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2022. The funding for the hospital is on a 90:10 basis, with the Centre contributing the lion�s share. A sum of Rs 171.10 crore has already been released in this respect by the Centre. The hospital is slated to be a 500-bed facility.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic halting all construction works, it remains to be seen whether the project will be completed on time.

�Nagaland is in the green zone, so construction works will resume soon. But the pace of construction has been slow,� admitted a Nagaland Health official on condition of anonymity.

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COVID-19 lab to operate in Nagaland from May

GUWAHATI, April 29 - On April 14, a resident of Dimapur who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the commercial hub of Nagaland, showed symptoms of COVID-19 and was brought to the GMCH here for testing. The confirmation of his being tested positive for the disease came from Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma via Twitter.

Due to lack of any testing facility in Nagaland, the COVID-19 patient had to be shifted from Dimapur to Guwahati, covering a distance of nearly 300 km.

Significantly, the patient concerned has not been included in Nagaland�s tally of COVID-19 patients so far. Assam, too, has not included the patient in its tally. �The sample was tested in Guwahati, so the COVID-19 code was generated there. We have already referred the matter to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and we expect a response soon,� said Dr Nyan Kikon, Nodal Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland.

As many as 639 samples from Nagaland have been sent to laboratories in Dibrugarh, Guwahati and Imphal for testing so far. �All these testing centres have been very cooperative and we are grateful for their assistance, especially those in charge of the centres,� said Dr Kikon.

He said that a fully functional laboratory for testing COVID-19 samples would start operating in Nagaland from the second week of May. It may be noted here that the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court has directed the Nagaland Government to set up at least two COVID-19 testing laboratories soon in response to a PIL filed by a Kohima resident.

The Nagaland Health Department, however, declined to comment on the availability of PPE suits and masks for healthcare workers.

It may be noted that the foundation stone of the first medical college in Nagaland was laid by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in 2014, which is scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2022. The funding for the hospital is on a 90:10 basis, with the Centre contributing the lion�s share. A sum of Rs 171.10 crore has already been released in this respect by the Centre. The hospital is slated to be a 500-bed facility.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic halting all construction works, it remains to be seen whether the project will be completed on time.

�Nagaland is in the green zone, so construction works will resume soon. But the pace of construction has been slow,� admitted a Nagaland Health official on condition of anonymity.