Where are the diagnostic labs?

Dear Editor,
I would like to express my concern over the inefficiency of the government of Arunachal Pradesh on healthcare systems and research schemes.
Looking at the present situation of the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak, I wonder what if it spreads in Arunachal Pradesh. Where should the people of Arunachal Pradesh go for diagnosis? Will they continue sending the swab samples of infected patients to Assam for confirmation through Covid–19 tests? If so, won’t it be already late by then for a patient?
The important point for the government of Arunachal Pradesh today is to be realize that there is a lacuna in the healthcare system and research in the state. Importantly, the state still does not have a proper research centre with equipped branches of research like medicine, bacteria, virus, etc, and no NABL accredited diagnostic lab which has the capacity to conduct Covid–19 tests as per the ICMR guidelines.
There could not be a better time for the state government to rectify its negligence towards the importance of medical research and healthcare systems.
Fortunately, Arunachal Pradesh is among the biodiversity hotspots in India. But only about 5000 species of plants have been reported so far. Hence, it is obvious that the ethnomedicine potential of the state is still not fully explored yet.
These medicinal plants have been used by the indigenous tribes in curing various diseases since time immemorial time. Despite having huge potential for medicinal research, the economic farming of ethnomedicines has not been in good practice yet, probably due to lack of proper research schemes and knowledge. It means that the state could be a rich source for various medicines if there are enough resources to do the necessary research.
Moreover, a good initiative should be proposed in the context of the lacking proper research centre and diagnostic labs by the current government. The government should scrutinize the importance of research centres and healthcare for the welfare of its people.
For instance, the Kerala government sanctioned Rs 20K crore to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure the safety of its people. Such schemes will not only help the healthcare system but also help to boost the state’s economy to an extent through proper ethnomedicinal research.
It’s time for the government to take sensible and responsible actions for the betterment of the research and healthcare system. It’s time for the government to properly recognize the suffering of its people and the potential of the available resources in the state.
Lali Lingfa,
PhD (Scholar),
Osmania University,