DIMAPUR, April 16 - Nagaland will soon get a Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory for COVID-19 tests with the equipment for it reaching here on Thursday. The consignment weighing 18 tonnes was brought from Mumbai in a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the India Air Force, following a request from Nagaland Governor RN Ravi to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Along with the sophisticated equipment, a technical team also arrived here to set up the BSL-3 laboratory at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima. The aircraft was scheduled to arrive at the Dimapur airport on Wednesday, but was delayed due to bad weather in Assam.
Considering the urgency of setting up the laboratory in the State, the IAF on Wednesday even made efforts through diplomatic channels to use Bangladesh airspace, but it did not materialise as the weather in that country was also not conducive.
The next consignment for the laboratory is expected to arrive soon.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has thanked the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, for fulfilling the long-felt need of the Government to �have our own testing facilities�. Work will begin immediately so that it becomes functional at the earliest, he said. State Health and Family Welfare Minister S Pangnyu Phom said the laboratory would be set up on a war footing.
It may be mentioned here that a patient with COVID-19 symptoms was shifted from Dimapur to the GMCH in Guwahati, Assam, on April 12. Subsequently, he tested positive and is currently undergoing treatment at the GMCH. The Nagaland Government has thanked the IAF, the Centre and the Ministry of Defence for extending support and cooperation to the State in its fight against COVID-19.
Plea: Nagaland Congress president K Therie on Thursday requested Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to provide a monthly aid of Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 each to the people of Nagaland stranded in other parts of the country and abroad due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
Warning: Dimapur Deputy Commissioner Anoop Khinchi on Thursday said that strict action would be taken against those found violating the containment measures against COVID-19.
Khinchi said despite repeated orders issued by him, it had come to notice that some villages have barred entry of medical professionals, personnel on emergency duty, and the staff and patients of the Zion Hospital, Dimapur, where a COVID-19 patient was initially admitted.
He directed the village councils, colony chairmen and all concerned to ensure that frontline workers are honoured and respected.