(C) Pangnyu Phom during the briefing at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur.

3 returnees test COVID-19 positive; Dimapur-2, Kohima-1


It was like a bombshell waiting to happen after it was officially announced on Monday that three returnees who came from Chennai on May 22 were tested positive for COVID-19. 

In Dimapur, minister of health and family welfare S. Pangnyu Phom, during a briefing at Hotel Saramati, informed that the three cases were detected at BSL-3 lab, NHAK (inaugurated on May 21). Pangnyu said of the three, two were male and one female. While two were currently at Dimapur COVID-19 hospital, one was at Chedema COVID-19 hospital under Kohima district, he added.

In Kohima state chief minister Nephiu Rio held an emergency meeting with ministers, senior officials and “Nagaland Covid-19 War Room” team to take stock of the situation.

The three were among the 1463 returnees who left Chennai by Special Shramik Train on May 19 . The news was like a shock wave and also raised fears of possible spike in COVID-19 cases among thousands begin arriving from various states, especially Red Zones.

Pangnyu disclosed that on arrival at Agri Expo, the 23-year-old female had shown symptoms of the virus during medical screening and then immediately sent to isolation ward of COVID-19 Hospital.

On confirming positive for COVID-19, he said the female was shifted to COVID ward of Dimapur hospital. He said the other 20-year old male had no symptom on arrival at Agri-Expo, and was sent to a quarantine centre. However, after symptoms appeared, the person was shifted to isolation ward at COVID 19 Hospital for sample collection and was later tested positive for COVID-19. 

The other 26-year old male who travelled to Kohima directly from Dimapur railway station, was tested positive for COVID-19 in Kohima. It came about after the district surveillance team of Dimapur learnt that he was sitting adjacent at the coach with the first male from Dimapur who was tested positive for COVID-19. 

Pangnyu said the 26-year old was admitted at COVID-19 Hospital, Kohima. All the three patients are undergoing treatment and stable, he added. 

Pangnyu also disclosed that following discovery of the three positive cases, the H&FW department and district surveillance units of Dimapur and Kohima had intensified surveillance and contact tracing. He also announced that all passengers arriving by Special Shramik trains would henceforth be tested as per risk assessment. He also appealed to the society not to stigmatise the patients and also support the health workers.

He also said adequate counselling was being provided to the three COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, according to the “epidemiological link” report , it was stated that one of the patients had distributed snacks to passengers in the compartment during the journey. It further stated that the patient, who had also tested positive on Monday, had come in contact with this person in the same compartment during the journey. The third person was in the other compartment.

Further, APC and in-charge of Dimapur district for COVID-19 activities, Y. Kikheto Sema appealed to all to not panic, and felt that Nagas would have to learn to live with COVID-19. 

Speaking to DPRO Dimapur, he reminded all to maintain social distancing, hygiene, avoid unnecessary movement and to wear masks as a preventive measure to contain the virus. 

Real challenge now: CS 

Meanwhile in Kohima, addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference at conference hall of civil secretariat here, chief secretary Temjen Toy expressed regrets that Nagaland was no longer under green zone after the three COVID-19 cases but said the real challenge had only begun. 

Toy said though there was not much to worry about, he was apprehensive as to how Nagas in general would react . He therefore, called for respecting the privacy of patients since it could be “anyone of us.” 

He stressed that it was the time for solidarity and determination to fight the pandemic together as “the pandemic is here to stay and we have to live with it”.

According to Toy, the people’s “initial reaction” would go a long way in addressing the pandemic adding it was time for Nagaland to set an example and rise up, show goodness and to cooperate. 

He also lamented that when the first COVID-19 case was detected in Guwahati, the public reaction was not pleasant and stigmatisation occurred. Hoping that this would not recur, Toy  also appealed to people not to panic or overact, but empathise and show solidarity to those affected by COVID-19. 

H&FW principal secretary Menukhol John, who was also present, disclosed that the two males were asymptomatic while the female showed symptoms.

Addressing a joint press conference with the chief secretary Temjen Toy Menokhol said health workers were doing their best to contain COVID-19 . He said everyone returning from outside Nagaland would be on the radar of health workers, who were actively doing contact tracing and doing their best to contain the disease.

378 stranded citizens return from Haryana

DIMAPUR, MAY 25 (NPN): A batch of 378 stranded citizens of Nagaland reached Dimapur from Gurugram, Haryana on May 25, 2020 at  around 10 a.m. According to DIPR, 288 persons-- 146 male and 142 female, who are from Dimapur, Mon and Peren districts, were screened taken to the Agri Expo site quarantine centre in 16 buses. The other 90 from other districts, were transported to Kohima in four buses. APC and Dimapur in charge for COVID-19 related activities, Y. Kikheto Sema, DC Dimapur Anoop Khinchi, Commissioner of Police, Rothihu Tetseo and CMO Dimapur Dr. Tiasunep received the returnees at railway station Dimapur, a DIPR report stated.   COVID-19 sample testing: Results of 285 awaited DIMAPUR, MAY 25 (NPN): Out of 1331 COVID-19 suspected samples sent for testing as of 3 p.m. May 25, the results of 1046 samples received were negative while three tested positive and the results for 285 samples were awaited, minister planning & coordination, land revenue and parliamentary affairs Neiba Kronu stated. Further, 1783 persons have been screened and 2831 persons currently under facility quarantine, he said.