By poll over, now focus on the virus Govt should set example

Time for the Government to now turn their undivided attention to COVID-19 and concentrate all its resources to the fight against the virus which has claimed close to 200 lives and is seemingly spreading at will. The daily statistics should tell its own story and here it becomes extremely important for everyone concerned to understand exactly what the fight against the virus should entail. That it took a team from New Delhi to make the State Government realise the importance of interacting with the media through conferences is an indication on where things can improve. It is when conflicting reports on the number of deaths are not addressed to as soon as possible that serious doubts may be raised on the ‘correctness’ or otherwise of the figures trotted out daily by the COVID-19 Common Control Room. It has been some days since The Sangai Express reported three deaths more than what was given out by the COVID-19 Common Control Room and even today no rectification of the statistics can be seen taken up. The most that has come by way of explanation is that  exact reasons for the death of the three persons, reported by Shija Hospital as COVID-19 victims, is still being ascertained. One wonders how many days it takes to ascertain the cause of the death of a person for remember reports about the death of the three persons due to COVID-19 appeared three or four days back. It is when the official figure given out by the Control Room and the figure received from the different hospitals do not match that serious questions may be raised on how seriously the State Government has taken the different approaches to fight the virus. Social distancing is one of the three Biblical slogans coined and championed by the State Government but how sincerely and effectively was this slogan adhered to in the run up to the by elections held in four Assembly Constituencies is a question that may be raised. Obviously there will be no answer to this, for reasons known to everyone.
Flouting the SOP laid down by itself and nothing can be more self defeating than this. It is when people come under the impression that there are two sets of rules and regulations that one can expect the laid down protocols to be violated nonchalantly. This is what is scary and uncomfortable. The by elections is over, but it would be wrong that the ‘opportunity afforded to people to socialise and co-mingle’ is over, for after this one can expect victory rallies, victory feasts etc and things can only get worse, for remember Manipur is entering the period of festivals. After the election results are declared, there is Ningol Chakkouba which has been lined up and already the market is today teeming with people. Same is the case with shopping malls which have become popular with the people. Venture out and one will see the crowd of people.  Providing just the right avenue for the virus to spread and with experts predicting that the virus which causes COVID-19 will thrive better in the cold months, Manipur is looking at the perfect script for the virus to take a more heavy toll in the coming days. The Government should take the lead and come out with intensive campaigning urging the people not to go overboard in festivities. Don’t overcrowd the market places. One wonders whether there will be any fish mela ahead of Ningol Chakkouba this year, but whatever decision is taken, let everyone take care and even while out shopping, maintain physical distancing. It is everyone’s responsibility and the Government should take the lead in setting an example.