HC asks Nagaland to set up COVID-19 lab in 10 days

High Court asks Nagaland to set up COVID-19 testing labs in 10 days

The Kohima bench of Gauhati High Court on Tuesday asked Nagaland government to make at least two COVID-19 testing laboratories within 10-days as the state is yet to have one so far.

Acting on a PIL filed by Kikrukhonuo, a resident of Nagaland capital Kohima, the bench also asked the state government to provide Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) of prescribed quality to all healthcare workers assigned to take care of COVID-19 positive person or those who are in the quarantine centres. 

The PIL raised questions about Nagaland's preparedness to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and the facilities available in the state's hospitals. The bench issued notices to the state government and other respondents to reply to the concerns raised in the PIL within 10 days.

One businessman from Dimapur, the state's commercial hub tested COVID-19 positive in Guwahati Medical College and Hospital. He is still in the hospital.

But Nagaland still does not have a laboratory to test the samples for COVID-19. The state now depends on laboratories in neighbouring Assam. More than 600 samples have been tested so far in the laboratories in Assam and all were found negative.

DH on April 8 highlighted the absence of a testing laboratory in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. 

Read more | Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland fighting COVID-19 without a testing lab

The bench also asked the state government to make sufficient numbers of ICU available in the hospitals identified for COVID-19 positive persons and also increase the number of ventilators. It directed the state government to make sure that the two hospitals, one in Kohima and Dimapur identified for COVID-19 patients are equipped with all facilities to deal with any emergency situation.