K Therie
Nagaland Pradesh Congress Party (NPCC) president K Therie. File image

The Nagaland Congress on Tuesday urged the Centre to set up COVID-19 testing laboratory in the state on an urgent basis as they did in Iran to evacuate stranded Indians.

Nagaland has already intensified preparations to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) said the situation in the state, where healthcare workers are put to work without much protective gear and equipment, is a cause for serious concern.

The Nagaland Congress appealed to all political parties to come together and secure the lives and future of the people caught in the quagmire of this global pandemic.

Also read: Coronavirus: Please follow preventive measures, Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio tells citizens

It urged the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government to understand the plight of those, especially healthcare workers, waging a battle against COVID-19.

In a release issued by its communications department, the NPCC said it came to know that monthly salaries of nurses employed on contract basis are still pending, which is appalling.

It suggested some action plans to substantiate the government’s effort in containing COVID-19 and the resultant fallout that is bound to create a huge socio-economic crisis.

The NPCC suggested enforcement of total lockdown in urban areas across the state with an exemption only to essential services.

It said village/colony councils, especially in urban areas, be directed to sensitise people and prevent unnecessary movements within respective jurisdictions.

Village councils of villages located near the porous boundary with neighbouring states must be empowered to check the movement of people in absence of state police personnel.

It said the message of ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ along with basic hygiene routine must percolate down to the lowest level and followed by all people.

“Order people with recent travel history to affected countries to report and get tested or face punishment later on,” the NPCC urged the government.

The NPCC said apart from health care workers, police and other emergencies/essential service workers have to be fully protected with mask and clothing gear that meets prescribed requirements. Special monetary allowance must be granted to those working in the frontline against COVID-19.

It said free rations as per scale must be issued to every deserving household through the existing delivery mechanism during the lockdown period.

The Nagaland Congress said the political leaders, especially from the ruling government must avoid attempting to convert battle against Covid-19 into an event management spectacle as it recently happened after Janta Curfew on Sunday.

Bhadra Gogoi

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