The directorate of health and family welfare in Kohima Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: While Nagaland has no testing centre for COVID-19, principal director of health and family welfare, Vizolie Z Suokhrie, said that this is because of the lack of a bio-safety-level laboratory in the state, both in government and private establishments. The nearest testing centre for the state is designated in Imphal, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.

Through a press statement on Wednesday, Suokhrie said that till date, 1,543 persons are under home quarantine in the state. He said that eight samples in total have been sent for testing, of which five are negative and results of three are awaited. The sample results were sent on Wednesday, although the centres where the sample were sent did not disclose.

With the state outsourcing samples for testing, Suokhrie clarified: “There is no testing centre in the state due to lack of bio-safety level laboratory anywhere in the state both in government and private establishment.”

“The samples are collected in all the district hospitals and sent in a special Viral Transport Medium (VTM) to the designated lab, identified by the government of India,” it said. It added that all district superintendents of police have identified specific vehicles to transfer the samples to the labs at the earliest.

During earlier press conferences, Suokhrie claimed that samples sent to the nearest testing centres outside the state will be responded within six hours.

The statement said that the Dimapur Tourist Lodge is identified and designated as quarantine centre for the district, and that the district hospital is designated as COVID-19 hospital. It added that in Kohima, designated quarantine centres were identified and that Chedema AYUSH Hospital is the state’s COVID-19 Hospital. It said that the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) will be converted to COVID-19 hospital as and when the situation demands.

It said that COVID-19 hospitals will exclusively examine and treat cases for severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and influenza-like infection (ILI). Further, the principal director also appealed to the public not to spread rumours and to verify such news/information with the district authority concerned.

Meanwhile, as of 5 pm of March 25, 171 isolation beds have been identified in the state. While 5,433 persons were screened at the airport, 17,290 were screened at the railway station and roads. Despite the ban on arrival of international and domestic tourists, six foreign tourists were reported in the state.

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