Nagaland to punish non vaccinated govt staff found without Covid-19 certificate
The Nagaland government has asked staff at the state civil secretariat and directorates to get vaccinated or produce a Covid-19 negative test report every 15 days, failing which their salaries will be stopped beyond July 31 and they will be sent on unpaid forced leave.
“The administrative head of departments/head of departments shall enforce the directive, and submit report to the Home Department on or before 15th of every month, giving in detail the status of vaccination or submission of Covid-19 negative test report, as the case may be, for all the employees/staff, and the salaries deducted on account of the staff/employees concerned availing leave without pay...,” the July 17 order issued by state chief secretary J Alam, said.
Nagaland on Saturday notified Unlock-3, lifting some of the Covid-19 related restrictions by allowing the reopening of colleges, higher secondary education institutions and other in-house skill development facilities apart from several other activities. It also issued a set of guidelines for Covid containment measures, applicable from July 18 till August 1.
The guidelines said that the higher section of educational institutions will be allowed to reopen from July 26 on the condition that all teaching and non-teaching staff had been vaccinated against Covid-19 and there’s strict adherence to government guidelines.
Public gatherings will be allowed up to a maximum of 50 and 100 persons for indoor and outdoor events respectively. Restaurants have also been allowed to resume dine-in facilities with a maximum of 50% capacity, only if all the attendants and staff have been vaccinated with at least the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The state will also allow asymptomatic and fully vaccinated returnees, travellers and tourists through the point of entry without subjecting them to Covid-19 test or quarantine.
Meanwhile, Nagaland reported an upsurge in Covid-19 cases with the weekly sample positivity rate rising 2% above the previous week’s 6%-mark. The week ending July 17 recorded 689 fresh cases and 12 deaths and the state health department sounded a word of caution that Nagaland remains at an “overly critical juncture”.
Out of 26,576 Covid cases reported since 2020, the state currently has 1,112 active cases and it has also registered 510 fatalities so far.
The state has administered 660,000 vaccine doses so far, health officials said, and added that more than 70% population in the state is still susceptible to Covid-19 infection and vaccination needs to be ramped up urgently along with the strict maintenance of Covid-appropriate behaviour. The state has been facing vaccine hesitancy, particularly in the older age groups.
The weekly Covid bulletin of the state integrated disease surveillance programme (IDSP) said that 99.5% of Covid casualties in Nagaland were among people who were not fully vaccinated and 88% of the dead were not vaccinated even with the first dose.
“With the delta variant in circulation, it is highly advisable to get the second dose for full protection and remain very cautious till then,” the IDSP bulletin said.