Peren JAC on COVID-19 censures ‘inefficiency’ of state machinery

Peren, July 6 (MExN): The Joint Action Committee (JAC) on COVID-19 in Peren district on Monday censured the ‘inefficiency’ of the State Government and its machinery at the district level and said that the government’s ‘lackadaisical attitude’ towards the people of the district is ‘on a tipping point.’

A statement to this effect was released by the JAC on July 6, recounting the series of events on June 23 where 96 returnees were released from institutional quarantine without conducting a second test to ascertain their COVID status. This, the JAC said, gave “ample room for community transmission and mass casualties amongst the villagers who are caught off guard.”

The JAC statement alleged that two doctors, a DVBO and a DPO (UIP/RCH), “in gross violation of the laid down protocol,” released the 96 returnees.

The JAC claimed that it was not intimated about the issue and came to learn about it only in the evening of June 24 when irate youths tried to ‘gherao’ the Office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Jalukie, demanding immediate action against the two doctors. “On our part we pacified the crowd, keeping in mind that immediate action should be to lay out plans for immediate corrective measures to handle the blunder of the two doctors before it becomes a full blown community transmission,” it said.

According to the statement, on June 25, the JAC, in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer, had assured full safety and cooperation to the two doctors and the medical team and asked them to carry out the immediate action plan to contain the virus. However, “we came to learn that the two doctors absconded and did not report to duty thereafter,” it stated.

As such, the JAC censured “The recent development where the Government, instead of reprimanding the doctors for their irresponsible action has transferred them to the State Capital,” stating that it is “akin to being rewarded for their action in spreading the virus to every villages under Peren district.”

“The total lack of will to initiate appropriate actions against such audacious and brash behavior of the doctors will only bolster the spirit and invite more inefficiency,” the statement read.

Stating that “Such level of irresponsibility should not be rewarded with posting in the State Capital,” it demanded that appropriate action should be taken upon them for the crime committed. 

“We the JAC Peren on COVID-19, demand that the Government immediately initiate action against the duo under the relevant section of the law and instill confidence in the minds of the public that the Government will be impartial and cares for the well being of the public.”

Giving absolute immunity to irresponsible doctors, citing the excuse that the State is short of manpower is only harming and inviting more disaster and also demeans the selfless and hard work of the doctors’ community in the State, it added.

The JAC meanwhile appealed to the Government to take cognizance of the matter and take up immediate appropriate measures to help contain the spread of the virus in the district before it becomes uncontrollable and mass casualties happen.

Further it reiterated its demands with regard to the June 3 incident where a positive patient was sent to Peren along with 16 other returnees from Dimapur and a subsequent incident where 9 returnees who had tested COVID-19 positive in Dimapur were discharged for Home Quarantine and ‘mistakenly’ sent to Facility Quarantine.

Stating that the demands of the people have fallen on deaf ears, it said that “the inefficiency of the State Government and its machineries at the district level and more so the District Admin has given rise to ever increasing positive cases,” leading to fear and panic amongst the people of the District.

Should community transmission become a reality and the people become a victim and casualty to the virus, the two doctors and the government will be held solely responsible for the willful negligence and inaction, the JAC cautioned.