Neiphiu Rio on Twitter Credit: Twitter

Kohima: Following a High Powered Committee (HPC) meeting that was held on Friday, the Nagaland government has decided to close down all free quarantine facilities in the state after a particular “cut-off” date is announced. The HPC also decided that all testings done after the cut-off date will be charged.

Although the cut-off date is yet to be disclosed, all quarantine centres in the state will be subject to payment once the date is announced. Persons returning to the state after the date will have to undergo paid quarantine.

HPC spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon informed that the decision was made as the state government has so far spent around Rs 24.51 Crore on the quarantine centres–from setting up of quarantine centres to management of food for returnees.

Also Read: Nagaland: 36 more test COVID-19 positive; state’s tally hits 732

While most returnees have come back to the state with many completing the quarantine period as per protocol, quarantine centres are now less crowded and the number of quarantine centres have decreased. Kikon informed that a new common SOP will be made in regard to the new decision that was taken by the HPC.

He also announced that the existing lockdown which was extended till July 15 will further be extended till July 31. Despite the Kohima deputy commissioner’s proposal to impose total lockdown in Kohima municipal areas for a week, the HPC has decided that a total lockdown is not “warranted for now in Kohima”.

As and when a positive case is detected, contact tracing and surveillance will be enforced in containment areas. He said that a new containment plan will be enforced which will have “strict protocols in place”. “Extra efforts” will also be made to do “rigorous tracing and listing” and active surveillance will be conducted to prevent and contain COVID-19.

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Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Home Abhijit Sinha informed the HPC meeting was chaired by the chief minister and has reviewed the existing lockdown measures in the State. A “modified plan” in regard to the Containment Zones and the protocols that needs to be followed have been submitted by the Health Department.

He added that after taking all views, including the Department of Health & Family Welfare, and all the relevant facts, it was decided that total lockdown as proposed may not be warranted for now in Kohima Municipal areas. The HPC has directed District task force (DTF) Kohima for strict adherence to all the protocols of the Containment Plans for all such areas where positive cases have come up and for doing rigorous contact tracing and listing, active surveillance and other necessary activities for preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19.

Taking to Twitter, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said “Convened a meeting of the High Powered Committee. Among other things, reviewed Peren situation, discussed lockdown and containment issues. The train from Bengaluru, which arrived yesterday, will be the last special train.”

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