Tuesday, May 30, 2023

State prepared to tackle Covid situation: H&FW


Amid spike in Covid-19 cases across the country, state Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department has reassured the public that the state was well-equipped to deal with the Covid situation/fourth wave.
Addressing the media along with senior health officials here at the directorate, commissioner & secretary H&FW Kikheto Sema said there is already a system in place and appealed to the public to not panic. He also said that the department was also closely monitoring and in touch with other states that have been reporting fresh Covid cases.
Though the state was fully prepared to tackle Covid crisis, he, however, appealed to the public not to be complacent and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. “We will not allow our people to be a victim like the first and second wave because today we have better infrastructure,” he said.
He also urged upon the civil society organizations, faith-based organizations to spread awareness about Covid-appropriate behaviour.
While reminding all that Covid was not over yet and will continue to stay, Kikheto said the pandemic has made people across the globe realize the importance of healthcare.
He, however, assured that there was nothing to panic as the current wave was not as severe as the first, second and third wave.
Though there has been a fresh spike in Covid cases across the country, the commissioner and secretary, however, said that the last reported case of Covid-19 in the State was on February 11, 2023. He also informed that the state has been conducting an average of 20-30 tests on a daily basis.
Hospitals well equipped: Kikheto further said that all state-run government hospitals were well equipped with a good number of ventilators, ICU beds, oxygen supported beds as well as normal beds and improved infrastructures. He also informed that the department was planning to set up ICU beds at police hospital at Chümoukedima.
When asked about Covid preparedness in the newly created districts, he said Tseminyu, Niuland, Chümoukedima and Shamator would not face any issues as these districts were close-by other districts having proper set up and infrastructures. As for Noklak district, he said ICU beds were already put in place.
Supplementing Kikheto, H&FW principal director Dr. Vibeituonuo Mepfuo reiterated that the state was well prepared and that if a situation arises, ICU beds can be ramped up.
She also said that genome sequencing of positive samples can now be conducted at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) BSL-3 lab as an when required.
When asked on XBB.1.16 Covid variant responsible for the recent spike in cases, State Nodal Officer IDSP and deputy director H&FW Dr. Nyan Kikon explained that it was a new subvariant of omicron detected in December 2022 and there were about 4000 cases across the country. However, as per the available data till date, he said that there was no indication of severity and hospitalization.
He also said that tests were being conducted based on symptoms. Dr Nyan exuded confidence that the state is prepared to deal with the Covid crises.
On vaccination, State Immunization Officer (SIO) Dr. Imkongtemsu Longchar said that since vaccination was not mandatory, the percentage was lower than expected. He, however, said that the vaccination exercise was still on and available at all PHC/CHCs and district hospitals. He, therefore, appealed to all those eligible to can get themselves vaccinated.
The officials maintained that the people would now have to learn how to live with Covid-19 as it was here to stay. They only way to tackle Covid is to stay cautious and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.

State awaits NMC nod to start medical college
Meanwhile, Kikheto informed that the National Medical Commission (NMC) has completed the inspection of Nagaland Institute Medical Science and Research (NIMSR) and the final approval to start academic session was awaited.
He said that during the first visit of NMC officials several issues were raised for non-compliance of recruitment and non-completion of some infrastructures.
The second visit was very positive as the government could fulfil most of the required criteria. Kikheto also said that the NMC had appreciated NHAK for being one of the best government-run hospitals in the country.
He also informed that the recruitment of faculties and other staff would be completed by April end and efforts were being made to complete the infrastructure by June.


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