Nagaland health and family welfare secretary Kesonyu Yhome addressing a press conference in Kohima on Thursday evening Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: Amid the COVID-19 scare, Nagaland health and family welfare secretary Kesonyu Yhome admitted that the global pandemic has exposed the “gaps in the healthcare delivery system of the state” faced with infrastructural and human resource constraint.

Addressing a press conference at the directorate in Kohima on Thursday evening, Yhome said that the state government and the health department are making all efforts to address the various challenges that confront society and to ensure the safety of the public.

He informed that the bio-safety level-3 laboratory, which is under construction at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK), is aiming at an expeditious completion and that the department is pressing hard to enable the state to begin testing samples for COVID-19 in Nagaland. He clarified that all preventive measures are being ensured and that the construction of high-risk laboratory will not be hazardous for the neighbourhood.

Yhome also said that so far, the state has received 56,000 PPEs; 2,76,000 triple-layer masks; 42,000 N95 masks; 11 ICU ventilators; nine transport ventilators and 50 C-PAP machines; 1,007 B-type oxygen cylinders; 119 A-type nitrous cylinders and 54 jumbo oxygen cylinders through various consignments.

Nagaland man, who tested positive in Assam, likely to undergo fourth test on April 26

Yhome said that the state’s health department has been in touch with the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) officials where the patient is admitted, since the first day when the man tested positive. However, an official intimation in written was sent only after the department came to a realisation that the Assam officials did not consider the telephonic conversations as “official”, Yhome disclosed.

The man who tested positive on April 12 was tested negative during the second test on April 17. However, the man tested positive again on April 18 and the fourth test is likely be conducted on April 26, Yhome informed. He then said that patient is stable and has been shifted from the ICU to the isolation ward for further observation. His family members were also tested and results came out to be negative.

With regard to the surveillance activities in the containment zone in Dimapur, over 5,000 persons have been interviewed covering 909 households as of April 23 and all 382 samples sent from Dimapur district have tested negative. In total, 543 samples tested negative out of the 607 that were sent and the results of the rest are awaited.

Amid reports of faulty PPEs being reported, Yhome said the department cannot risk the lives of the healthcare workers who are the ‘frontline warriors’ and so has directed all districts to choose and select the equipment from the stock itself.

He also mentioned the OPD services rendered by the Nagaland Medical Council and further appealed the public to adhere to rules of social distancing and abide by rules laid by the government. He also informed that department is collaborating with the Times Group, on a project called ProjectStepone, to reach out to the citizens who require medical consultation over the phone. Citizens requiring such assistance can call the state toll-free helpline number 1800 345 0001 and will be available to the public in a few weeks’ time.

He acknowledged the private healthcare units for the delivery of healthcare services to general patients as all district hospitals are being designated as dedicated COVID-19 Hospitals. He said that all private hospitals need to be em-paneled under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojna (AB-PMJAY) for providing free services to beneficiaries.

Furthermore, he appealed all persons to allow the healthcare service personnel to discharge their duties without any obstruction or hindrance either within the premises of clinical establishments or on the road/streets and so on.

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