Dr Vizolie Suokhrie (left) Principal Director of Health and family welfare addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening

Kohima: “A time may come when health care workers may not be able to do their work at all,” expressed Dr Vizolie Suokhrie, Principal Director of Health & family welfare. He was speaking about the ‘discrimination’ and stigmatization faced by the health care workers amid COVID-19.

Expressing discontentment, Suokhrie said that some localities and villages are “not allowing” the health care workers, who are engaged in taking care of the people “to go [back to] their homes. According to him, there is a misconception in the minds of people and expressed the need to create awareness about COVID-19.

He said “If the health care workers—frontline workers are discriminated, the whole issue of fighting the coronavirus will be over. We will not be able to defeat the coronavirus infection” and further added that whether one likes it or not, it is here to stay.

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Suokhrie pointed that the spread of the virus can be prevented by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks at crowded places, practising right hand and cough hygiene and not by threatening, intimidating, accusing, or taking the law into one’s hand. Suokhrie said “Your safety is your responsibility”, adding that the spread of the virus is preventable.

According to Suokhrie, the lockdown has given many good things but at the same time created a fear psychosis among the people. He, therefore, appealed the people not to stigmatize the health care workers but rather extend support and fight the pandemic “collectively”.

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The health director revealed that so far, there are an adequate number of N95 masks and PPE for health care workers. However, due to the increase in COVID-19 positive cases, there is a need to utilize the resources carefully.

He mentioned that PPEs are being allotted to all health care workers depending upon their risk of exposure. Expressing “pain” seeing public wear N95 masks, he pointed out that N95 masks must be reserved for health care workers who come in direct contact with the COVID-19 patients. He suggested that the citizens use reusable cloth masks.

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