The Naga Rising (TNR) urged the church in Nagaland to go beyond the pulpit and play a more proactive role in the present crisis arising out of the surge and spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A much needed appeal has been made by a concerned citizen to the churches in Nagaland through print and social media pointing to the need for the Christian church to play a more proactive role in the present crisis arising out of the surge and spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the TNR in a statement. TNR said it supported such an appeal for the Church to step-in to this call of duty beyond the pulpit. “We would even suggest that the churches in Nagaland should think of setting aside 10% of this year’s annual budget towards Covid health care and in saving lives,” it further said. TNR added that this is the best opportunity for “our churches to be a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ by helping the sick and the needy”.
TNR then said that the government of Nagaland on its part should provide policy direction and framework on how best to rope in aid and assistance by bringing all stakeholders in order to tackle the worsening situation with forecast of a deadlier third wave expected. It further said that there is a dire need to involve private hospitals/medical practitioners, church, civil society, NGOs and well meaning benefactors.
“Let us quickly learn from the sudden rise in cases and deaths in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and how the health system was overwhelmed due to unpreparedness,” TNR said, adding, “As we prepare for a worst case scenario where we run out of beds in places like Dimapur and Kohima, The Naga Rising encourages the government and community institutions to come forward to help put together resources and make collaborative effort”. It then cited the case of Delhi where a 100 oxygen bedded covid care centre that has been set up under the aegis of Mount Carmel School Society for patients requiring oxygen support and medical care.
According to TNR, some urgent formulation should be worked out by the government to enable a collective response to the present health crisis. To begin with, a state level special purpose committee or working group may be formed to consult and engage all key stakeholders so as to come out with a modality for cooperation and collective functioning. The main aim is to expand bed and health care facilities for the sick so that we can save lives, TNR added.
TNR then said that the current Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), who was in-charge of all Covid-related activities in Dimapur district, has done a commendable job last time by involving church and civil society organizations in managing the large scale returnees and opening up many community-run quarantine centers. “With this first-hand experience, the government should utilize such people to work on possible plan/s of action. It is better to be prepared than to be sorry,” the statement said.
TNR then said that the government on its part should also consider a separate ‘Covid-Care Saving Lives Contingency Fund’ under the Chief Secretary and this should be operated with outmost transparency without political interference.