Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court

The Kohima bench of Gauhati High Court on Tuesday directed the Nagaland government to make at least two Covid-19 testing labs in the state functional within 10 days.

Hearing a PIL filed by Kikrukhonuo, a resident of Midland colony, Kohima, a bench of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu ordered the state government to gear up and make sure that the two main hospitals, one in Kohima and the other in Dimapur, are ready for functioning.

The court also said the two hospitals, which have been identified for treatment of Covid-19 patients will have to be made fully equipped to meet the challenge or challenges posed by the Covid-19 within a period of two weeks.

The court also asked the state government to make every effort to establish other labs at strategic places in the state to facilitate free testing in the near future.

It directed the state government to provide sufficient number of PPEs to all persons who are involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients and in the looking after of persons in quarantine centres.

The PPEs should be of the standard quality as prescribed by the appropriate authority, the bench said.

The government was also asked to make all efforts to make ICU facilities at all places identified for treatment of Covid-19 infected persons and increase the number of ventilators so as to facilitate treatment in times of need.

The court also asked the state government to make ambulance available to the Covid-19 patients at the earliest, if not already made available, and also make available transportation facilities 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 order said.

Regarding the other concerns raised by the petitioner in the writ petition, the respondents – the state and the Union of India, were asked to look into them and file their response through an affidavit on the returnable date.

After hearing the counsel, Neiteo Koza, appearing for the petitioner and the additional senior government advocate V. Suokhrie appearing for the respondents, the court was of the view that it would be sufficient at this stage if notice is issued to the respondents and limited directions are issued.

The state government was also directed to file their affidavit showing their level of preparedness and also a statement showing the materials already supplied for the personnel who are in the line of duty.

“This PIL through which certain concerns regarding the actions already taken and which are yet to be taken by the state government regarding the Covid-19 are sought to be brought to the notice of this court for issuing necessary direction or directions,” the order said.

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