The 7-day total lockdown in Nagaland began at 6 pm on Friday which brought life to a standstill on the first day.

All activities and movement of people, except for exempted categories, have been prohibited during the lockdown period.

Although shops, dealing with essential commodities like grocery and bakery items, vegetables, fish, meat, milk and animal feed, were allowed to open from 6 am to noon, only a few shoppers were seen shopping for their daily needs.

Police personnel were seen enforcing the lockdown in Dimapur town while strict measures were taken at entry and exit points to prohibit people from going out and coming into the town. There were no reports of any untoward incident during the day till the filing of this report.

The state high-powered committee on Covid19 announced statewide week-long total lockdown on May 11 due to surge in Covid19 positive cases in the state.

Also read: Nagaland: Eight-day total lockdown in Kohima from Friday

The total lockdown will end on May 21.

The village and colony authorities are assisting the district administrations in ensuring strict compliance of the lockdown.

Though shops have been allowed to open on May 17, 19 and 21 in Kohima, wholesalers in BOC, supermarket and high school areas are permitted to open from 6 am to 12 noon to maintain the supply chain to the shops in the colonies/wards and the villages.

Meanwhile, agriculture production commissioner I. Kikheto Sema along with other officials on Saturday identified a government building at Dimapur to convert it into a 100-bed Covid hospital.

Hospital beds in all the government and private hospitals dedicated for Covid19 patients in Dimapur have almost exhausted due to the continuing surge of Covid19 cases in the district.

Sem, who has been tasked by the Nagaland government to coordinate with the DImapur District Task Force for immediate requirements with regard to Covid activities, directed the district administration, Power, PHE, Housing departments to ready the building within a week’s time and the medical department to make the new 100-bed Covid hospital functional within 10 days.

He said beds in the new Covid hospital will be increased to 250 to 300 in the same premises as and when the situation demands.

He said the state government decided to withdraw one doctor and two nurses from each district hospital, excluding Kohima district, totaling nine doctors and 18 nurses to man the hospital. He also said the services of retired doctors and nurses may be required to work for humanity.

Sema said serious patients would be kept in Dimapur Covid hospital, Referral Hospital and other private hospitals with ICU facilities while the patients with mild to moderate symptoms needing hospitalisation would be kept in the new Covid hospital, he said.

In another development, the Dimapur district health authorities have decided to conduct random sampling for Covid19 tests in various earmarked locations from May 17 to 21.

Dimapur chief medical officer Dr I. Moatemjen, in an order, asked the heads of all contact tracing teams to coordinate with the colony/village authorities of the areas that have been earmarked for the random sampling.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com