GUWAHATI: Nagaland can now conduct its own COVID-19 tests with the much awaited bio-safety level (BSL)-3 laboratory inaugurated by state chief minister Neiphiu Rio at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) on Thursday.
Prior to the facility, all suspected COVID-19 samples were sent either to Assam or Manipur for tests.
“It will not only be able to test samples for COVID19 but also conduct researches and tests for other viral diseases when the need arises. On behalf of Nagaland government I express gratitude to our neighboring states Assam and Manipur for helping us in our time of need,” Rio tweeted after inaugurating the BSL-3 lab in Kohima.
The chief minister had earlier thanked the Indian Council of Medical Research, Delhi for fulfilling a long-felt need of the government.
The process for setting up the facility gained momentum with the first consignment of equipment reaching the state on April 16. The Union defence ministry had promptly responded to a request made by Nagaland Governor R.N Ravi by ordering airlift of the equipment from Mumbai to Dimapur by an Indian Air Force aircraft to set up the facility.
Nagaland currently does not have any COVID-19 positive case in the state. The Nagaland health department had earlier informed that a patient from Dimapur who tested positive for COVID-19 has been “added to the tally of Assam as sampling was done there”.
“The desire of our people to have our own lab to combat the pandemic is fulfilled. We have successfully inaugurated the BSL-3 Lab at NHAK today. This is a red-letter day for Nagas and the lab is dedicated to the people of our state,” Nagaland health and family welfare minister, S Pangnyu Phom said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, requests for making COVID tests mandatory for all persons returning to the state from other states are rife on social media.
“It will be much better if people coming from other states are all tested before waiting for symptoms to show up,” one of them posted.
Source: The Shillong Times