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To tackle any threat of COVID-19 or coronavirus in Dimapur, the district task force is being reconstituted with co-opted members.

Dimapur chief medical officer Dr Pangjung Sangtam shared this during a meeting called by Dimapur deputy commissioner Anoop Khinchi on COVID-19 preparedness in his office on Saturday.

The district task force was created on February 26.

Sangtam said the district task force is being reconstituted after chief secretary Temjen Toy held a video conference with all the district commissioners and Nagaland commissioner in his office in Kohima on Friday to ensure that the state is prepared to tackle the spread of the virus.

He said three beds at the Dimapur district hospital have been turned into isolation wards while some beds were identified at a private hospital.

Also read: Nagaland taking measures to tackle coronavirus

He said 40 beds were identified at the district welfare office in Chumukedima.

Sangtam added that military hospitals had been visited and some ICUs and isolation wards had been identified.

Sangtam said the rapid response team has also been activated and passengers at Dimapur airport are being screened with thermal scanner on arrival.

An isolation room has been identified at the airport, he said.

Sangtam said flexi banners have been put up in Dimapur railway station and announcements will be made to sensitise the people on the dos and don’ts regarding the virus.

He said the railways will set up banners displaying contents about COVID-19 and make announcements for self-declaration if a passenger has recently visited any one of the 12 countries affected by the virus.

The district education officer will write to all the schools in the district to sensitise the students and teachers on precaution and preparedness.

Schools and colleges will display information, education, and communication (IEC) materials at respective schools on do’s and don’ts, Sangtam said.

A task force has been set up by the police department but personal protective equipment has still not been made available, he added.

He said electronic display used for dissemination of information will be set up at Plaza Point, Dimapur railway station and Dimapur airport.

Dimapur Government College has already conducted awareness campaigns in the college and it was decided that the college will be the nodal college for awareness and preparedness.

The Dimapur Municipal Council will hold general awareness programmes in coordination with colony chairmen and business organisations.

The council will also check business establishments selling face masks and hand sanitisers at high prices and book the defaulters with the help of police.

It was also decided that colony chairmen/gaon burhas (village chiefs) will collaborate with respective churches in their colonies to spread awareness.

Pamphlets including IEC materials will be distributed at border check gates to target/cover passengers entering Dimapur by road.

Following the directive from the CMO, the Nagaland Medical Dealers Association on Saturday said surgical masks and senitisers should not be sold at prices exceeding the minimum retail price. It said there should not be hoarding of these items in the market.

On Friday, Khinchi said the district administration found that masks and hand sanitisers are being sold in the local markets at exorbitant prices.

He said stern action would be taken against those selling the said products at exorbitant rates.

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: