Make two COVID-19 testing labs functional within 10 days: HC to Nagaland govt

Make two COVID-19 testing labs functional within 10 days:

Make two COVID-19 testing labs functional within 10 days:

Equipment for setting up BSL-3 Laboratory at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima arrives at Dimapur Airport on April 16.  (File Photo)


Morung Express News
Dimapur | April 28


The Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court (GHC) on April 27 directed Nagaland government to set up atleast two functional “COVID-19 testing labs” within 10 days.



In addition, the April 27 order directed the Government to make “every effort to establish other labs at strategic places in the State to facilitate free testing in the near future.”



Acting on a Public Interest Ligation (PIL) regarding “actions already taken and which are yet to be taken by the State Government” to combat COVID-19,  a division bench of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S Hukato Swu passed the order on April 27. 



The respondents— State of Nagaland was represented by the Chief Secretary, the Principal Director of Health and Family Welfare; and the Union of India represented by the Secretary, Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare, New Delhi.  



When contacted, the petitioner's advocate and Coordinator, HRLN, Nagaland Chapter— Neiteo Koza told The Morung Express that the instant PIL was filed to “assist the State of Nagaland in the present crisis by identifying traditional gap areas that have been denied, omitted or overlooked by the Respondents.”



The Bench in its order directed the government to provide sufficient PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment) “which are of the standard quality prescribed by the appropriate authority” to all response personnel.



“Make all efforts to make ICU facilities at all places identified for treatment of COVID-19 infected persons and also increase the number of ventilators so as to facilitate treatment in times of need,” it added. 



The court further asked the State Government to make ambulances available to the patients of COVID-19 at the earliest, if not already made available, and to also to arrange transportation to all persons, who are in the line of duty, “in view of the constraints and restraints imposed both by the Government and the public.”



 “See to it that under no circumstance or circumstances there should be any shortage of trained personnel for treatment of the COVID-19 patients and those who are quarantined,” the HC added in the order. 



With regard to the designated COVID-19 Hospitals in Kohima and Dimapur, it directed the government to ensure the hospitals “are fully equipped and ready for functioning to meet the challenge or challenges posed by the COVID-19 within a period of 2 (two) weeks.” 



The respondents were further directed to look into the other concerns raised by the petitioner, while also testifying their response through an affidavit.  



The State respondents were also asked to file their affidavits showing “their level of preparedness” and a statement showing the materials already supplied to the frontline personnel. 



The Registry, the order said, is directed to issue notice to the respondents making the same returnable within 10 days.


It may be noted here that works are currently underway for two Bio Safety Level (BSL) laboratories in the state top.  



The first consignment of equipments for a BSL-3 laboratory at the Naga Hospital, Kohima was flown in by the Indian Air Force April 16.  Nagaland Health & Family Welfare Minister (H&FW), S Pangnyu Phom tweeted on April 26 that the second consignment for a BSL-2 lab at the CIHSR, Dimapur was also flown in.



Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on April 28, launched a total of 10 ambulances to be used in the various government District Hospitals during a visit to the COVID-19 designated hospital in Dimapur.