Naga lockdown
Credit: Representational image

Kohima: Amid a spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Kohima and Dimapur districts, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) said total lockdown is now the only option left to save people’s lives. 

The NPF slammed the state government for its unpreparedness and mishandling of the rising COVID-19 cases.

“This government seems to have learnt nothing from the first wave, which we all faced last year. The excuse that other developed nations and the Indian states are also finding it difficult to contain this virus should no longer be parroted by the government as a result of its own inefficiency,” the party said.

The party expressed fear that Nagaland could face a monumental challenge to provide even basic amenities to COVID-19 patients.

Dimapur, with just two designated COVID hospitals, wouldn’t be able to meet the demand for beds with uninterrupted oxygen supply for patients, the opposition said. 

“Though total lockdown should be the last resort of the government, looking at the indifferent attitude and alarmingly rising positive cases in Kohima and Dimapur, the only option left to protect the people would be for a total lockdown in these two districts,” it said.

The opposition party’s legislature wing said recalled a meeting with the Nagaland governor on April 21, where it suggested that all interstate entry points, railway station, and the airport should be well equipped to manage the incoming passengers. The opposition also insisted on COVID-19 negative reports for entry into the state.

The opposition acknowledged the central government for providing equipment to set up oxygen generating plants and the Indian Air Force for their service. 

“With the hope that the supply of oxygen would be greatly augmented once these plants are set up, it is pertinent to designate more hospitals for taking care of the COVID patients and also improve the infrastructure at a greater pace,” the party said.

It then said that despite the Central government’s magnanimous sanctioning of funds in the name of COVID, there is still no significant improvement in the Health care facilities in the state.

“This government seems to find enthusiasm only in attaining more personal wealth siphoning off funds and withdrawing from the state exchequer in the guise of additional funds for development, thus rapidly increasing the burden of fiscal deficit in the State,” it alleged.

The party then said that the government should be more proactive to tend to the needs and listen to the cries of the people rather than amassing wealth.

It also suggested that the vaccination drive, though not mandatory, should be immediately carried out for free as announced by the Chief Minister of the State. “For every problem and obstacle, it is becoming a norm of the Chief Minister to go begging for funds, which is unprecedented and speaks volumes about the mismanagement of the state finances,” it said. 

Furthermore, it called for the need to ramp up the required infrastructures in all the district designated Covid hospitals to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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