Kohima: The state government has announced that a bio-safety laboratory level-2 will be set up in Tuensang, Nagaland health minister S Pangyu Phom, on Tuesday clarified that the decision of the government was not related to the incident regarding the release of Chennai returnees from Kohima to Tuensang before their test results were declared.
The decision was taken even before one among the inbound passengers tested positive for COVID-19, the minister said.
“Actually, for setting up the lab at Tuensang, it was not connected with this incident. The cabinet has already decided that one lab will be set up at Tuensang—it was an earlier decision,” Phom told reporters in Kohima. He also informed that as per the decision of the state government, each district will be provided with a “truenat” machine to enhance testing capacities.
He added that since the “truenat” machines are in “high demand across all the districts”, the government decided to procure 20 such machines out of which five will be available soon. “Tuensang will also receive it, but according to need base and availability, the department will be distributing it,” he said.
A senior official of the health department said that each “truenat” machine is capable enough to test 40 samples at a time.
With limited manpower, establishing the BSL-2 at Tuensang is a challenge but we are exploring, said Dr Vizolie Suokhrie, principal director of health department. He also said that in Kohima, the four scientists who are currently engaged in the BSL-3 have volunteered—which eased the work for the department. “They are our biggest assets,” he added.
Construction work for BSL-2 in Dimapur to be completed by June 10
Nagaland health secretary, Kesonyu Yhome, informed that the construction works for the BSL-2 in Dimapur is likely to be completed by June 10.
The hospital in Dimapur is being prepared with a team of experts to operate the BSL-2. In regard to the BSL-2 in Tuensang, he said that there are qualified people in the state but all will have to undergo necessary screening and formal recruitment process for appointment.