Nagaland gets first BSL-3 lab

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By: Bhadra Gogoi

DIMAPUR, May 21: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday inaugurated the first BSL-3 (bio safety level laboratory) at Naga Hospital Authority, Kohima, for research and diagnostic work on COVID-19 virus and other microbes.

In his inaugural speech, Rio said it is another milestone in the state’s journey towards health care and particularly to fight the novel coronavirus.

He expressed gratitude to all the people who made it possible for setting up the laboratory in the state. He also expressed gratitude to the different states which helped in setting up the laboratory in this time of crisis.

Rio thanked the state medical department and the support from various ministries, agencies, scientists and doctors who made this possible.

He said the stranded people who are coming back to Nagaland from different states should abide by the directives given by the government on quarantine.

The only way to control and contain the spread of the virus is by running tests on quarantined people since there is no cure yet for it, he said.

“The common platform for each and everyone of us is to fight this virus,” Rio said. He urged the public not to socially stigmatize the returnees and continue their support and cooperation to the government in the fight against the spread of the virus.

Social activist and Padma Shree Neidonuo Angami, who was present at the inaugural programme, the facility has been set up immediately for the purpose of COVID-19 testing only.

Angami added that this specialised BSL laboratory has the facility to quickly respond to other unidentified new infections whenever they emerge.

Nagaland health and family welfare minister S Pangnyu Phom, in his speech, said the making of the state’s first state-of-the-art BSL-3 faced a lot of  challenges during the its construction due to the prevailing lockdown. He gave credit to the research scientist volunteers who rendered their service for the completion of the lab.

Saying that the contagious nature of COVID-19 requires special laboratory, Phom said Nagaland now has a highly specialised facility for detection and preparedness compared to that of other states which have BSL-2 labs.

Dimapur traffic: In view of the scheduled arrival of special Shramik train in Dimapur carrying stranded people from Chennai at around 1pm on Friday, all vehicular traffic will be prohibited within Dimapur town from one hour before arrival of the train.

The vehicular traffic restriction will also apply to the exempted categories, Dimapur commissioner of police Rothihu Tetseo said in a notification on Thursday.

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