CM to chair reconstituted COVID-19 committee

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. (File Photo)
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. (File Photo)

Cabinet for converting Dimapur Tourist Lodge into COVID-19 hospital


Morung Express News
Kohima | June 1

The Nagaland state government on June 1 constituted a High Powered Committee (HPC) for COVID-19 response replacing the existing Empowered Committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Sentiyanger Imchen. 

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio told the media today in Kohima that the new empowered committee will be headed by him as chairperson and Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton as co-chair and Chief Secretary Temjen Toy as member secretary, including others. 

“We have taken some good decisions. We have dissolved the empowered committee and reconstituted a new empowered committee,” Rio said on the sideline of the Cabinet meeting at the Civil Secretariat, Kohima. 

He informed that the returnees in quarantine, who have tested negative and those from the north-eastern states (Green Zones) will be moved to make room for new returnees. 

On the Tuensang fiasco and the demand for suspension of erring officials, the CM said the Judicial Inquiry Committee has been given 15 days to submit its report. 

Commenting on the criticisms targeting the government, he said that the pandemic demands collective effort. “We should live positively. We are too small to keep on fighting. We only know how to fight. We don’t know how to unite.”

Meanwhile, an elected representative, who attended the meeting, informed that the day’s meeting saw full attendance of the Cabinet members. Representatives of four tribal organizations also met the Cabinet. 

With the reconstitution of the empowered committee, he said, “I think there will be changes in the guidelines also.” 

He informed that the meeting thoroughly discussed on how to utilize the available resources to accommodate the returnees, work distribution and the release of those who have come from green zones.  

Meanwhile, Minister, Planning & Coordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs, Neiba Kronu, in his daily COVID-19 update, informed that the HPC will “decide on policy matters relating to COVID-19, including supervision of the State War Room.”

Other members of the HPC include Health Minister, S Pangnyu Phom and Planning Minister Neiba Kronu. Sinha and the Advisor for Information Technology Mmhonlumo Kikon are the spokespersons. 


Tourist Lodge as COVID Hospital
It further informed that the Cabinet has decided that the government-run Tourist Lodge in Dimapur be converted into a COVID-19 hospital. It also directed the Health Department to compile data on the “status of COVID-19 patients for briefing to the media with details like district wise number of asymptomatic patients and symptomatic patients like mild, moderate, severe, admitted in ICU with or without oxygen and on ventilator support.”  


Government revises SOPs for returnees to the state
Minister Neiba Kronu meanwhile informed that the Government of Nagaland has revised the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the returnees to Nagaland following the  Cabinet meeting.

According to the revised SOPs which was issued following the daily briefing, returnees who arrived on the Special Train from Chennai and are still in Kohima and Dimapur quarantine centres will continue to remain there until the COVID-19 tests are done.


Those persons who test negative will be sent to their home district and those who test positive but do not require hospitalization and are fit to travel will also be sent to their home districts under special transportation, and kept at the COVID-19 Hospitals for treatment after following all the necessary health protocols.

Symptomatic positive persons who require hospitalization and are not fit for travel will be shifted to the COVID Hospitals of Dimapur and Kohima for treatment, it said. 

The asymptomatic returnees who have arrived in the State from the green zones of the North East states before May 18 and have completed 14 days institutional quarantine at centres anywhere in the state will be released for 14 days home quarantine without the mandatory testing. 

From June 4 onwards, the returnees reaching the state through Dimapur either by train/air/ road will be segregated district-wise at the entry point/Agri Expo site and thermally screened. All asymptomatic returnees will then be transferred to Quarantine Centres in their respective districts. 

Likewise, for returnees entering the state through Khuzama, the District Task Force Kohima will make similar arrangements.