HC directs Nagaland to set up two COVID-19 testing labs within 10 days

The Kohima bench of the Gauhati High Court directed the Nagaland government to set up at least two COVID-19 testing laboratories within the next ten days.

The bench of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S Hukato Swu on Tuesday directed the state government to make two labs functional with ten days and make every effort to set up testing labs at strategic places to facilitate free testing for COVID-19 in the future.

The direction was given by the court on a PIL filed by Kikrukhonuo, a resident of Kohima.

Nagaland does not have any COVID-19 testing lab and the samples are sent to Assam and Manipur for testing.

Till 3 pm on Tuesday, 639 samples were collected and sent for testing. Of them, reports of 620 samples came in as negative, while reports of 19 are awaited.

Nagaland has not reported any COVID-19 case, while a person from Dimapur tested positive in Assam and is undergoing treatment at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.

Officials said the state government is working to set up a BSL-3 (Biosafety Level) lab in Kohima and a BSL-2 lab in Dimapur.

Further, the court directed the state government to provide a sufficient number of PPEs to all health workers treating COVID-19 patients and looking after persons in the quarantine centers.

It also directed the state to set up ICU facilities at all hospitals identified for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and also increase the number of ventilators.

The government was also asked to ensure that there is no shortage of trained personnel for treatment of COVID-19 patients and those who are quarantined.

We also direct the State respondents to file their affidavit showing their level of preparedness and also a statement showing the materials already supplied for the personnel who are on the line of duty,” the court said.