Minister Paiwang Konyak during a recent assessment of the COVID-19 preparedness in Mon district of Nagaland Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: Amid the global coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, Nagaland transport, civil aviation & railways and land resources minister Paiwang Konyak extended financial assistance of Rs 1 Lakh to the Konyak Nagas in neighbouring Myanmar. This in addition to the free medical supplies provided to the Nagas across the international border by the hospital authorities in Mon district.

Speaking with EastMojo over telephone, Paiwang said that the Konyak Nagas of Myanmar are living just close to the Mon district. They “co-exist and depend” on the district for all essential commodities, especially salt and medicines, he said, adding: “Due to the lockdown, the borders are sealed and they are not allowed to enter Mon. So, I felt that it was necessary to help them although they are living in Myanmar.”

The minister informed that Mon is the only district in Nagaland sharing inter-state border with Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and an international boundary with Myanmar. He expressed concern that the boundaries have no specific entry and exit points which makes it an “uphill task” for the district task force to maintain the containment. “But the district administration and the police and the civil societies are doing tremendous work and l appreciate their effort,” he added.

He also emphasised on how the district has initiated creative ways to tackle COVID-19 containment. “Mon is a backward district in the area of education, infrastructure development but our hearts are not backward and poor, we see and feel and we will be sharing everything among the brotherhood,” he added.

Paiwang further informed that the commodities, which are being handed through the church organisations, will reach the Nagas of Myanmar at designated places for them to pick it up. He also pointed that Mon is the only district to have purchased PPEs, N95 masks, thermal scanners from China and the consignment will reach the district soon.

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