Kohima: As Nagaland reported three positive cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 on Monday morning, chief secretary Temjen Toy announced that all persons returning to the state will be tested. “We already decided that all persons coming in will be tested and that is going on,” he said.
Addressing a press conference on Monday at the Secretariat conference hall, principal health & family welfare secretary Menukhol John announced that three persons who returned from Chennai through the Shramik special train tested positive for COVID-19. “Nagaland is no longer green [zone]. We have three positive cases as of now. However, regardless of the fact that we have three positive cases, our medical teams are trying the best that they can,” he assured.
The samples were tested at the newly inaugurated bio-safety laboratory level 3 (BSL-3) in Kohima. While two persons showed mild symptoms, one is asymptomatic. The condition of the patients is said to be stable. “But all the same, we are going for an aggressive surveillance, treatment surveillance as well treatment protocols on how to take care of them,” he said.
All three are under treatment at the designated COVID-19 hospitals, two persons at District Hospital Dimapur and one at Chedema, Kohima. Of the three who tested positive, one is a woman.
“These cases are not local, they have been imported from travelers who came back home. But rest assured, we have everybody under our radar. We have already gone in for active contact tracing surveillance activities and we are doing the best that we can to contain it,” he added.
‘Do not panic nor stigmatize patients; support health-workers, we are all in this fight together’
On behalf of the state government, the principal secretary appealed residents of Nagaland not “to stigmatize” the COVID-19 positive patients and also “be supportive of our health workers who will be looking after them”.
“Be with us in this fight against COVID, we are trying the best that we can but we need all support from everybody,” the health secretary appealed.
Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy said that as the state is “no longer green”, the “real challenge starts”. He assured that the health department have started all protocol that needs to be followed. The contact tracing also started and the number of tests will increase.
“This is the time for the people of Nagaland to rise up and show our oneness and cooperation, to set an example,” Toy appealed. When a man from Nagaland was tested positive in Assam, he said that stigmatization happened and reactions went viral on social media. “I wish this does not happen,” he said.
“This is not much to worry about, but worry is the manner in which our people will react. We should understand their [patients] privacy. We need to also understand that it could have been anyone of us. This is the time to rise and show our solidarity and determination to fight this pandemic. The Virus is here to stay and we have to live with it. Our reaction on how we react is going to go a long way in addressing the disease,” he added.
Furthermore, he appealed all to “rise up and not overreact, show solidarity and respect”. “Rest assured, these may not be the only three cases, more will come. We need to be prepared on how to handle this,” he concluded.
The Shramik Special Train Number 06194 which departed from Chennai on May 19 at 23:30 hours arrived in Dimapur around 6:20 pm on May 22 carrying 1,320 stranded persons of Nagaland.
A total of 11, 885 citizens have signed up in the nCOVID-19 Nagaland – Visitors App since March 23 and in the last 14 days 2,170 persons have submitted their travel self-declaration. At present, 1,385 persons are being digitally monitored through the nCOVID-19 Nagaland – Visitors App. A total of 2,776 persons are presently under facility quarantine.