No test for incoming passengers
Stand of APSCS
The stand of the Association of Premier State College Seniors (APSCS) makes absolute sense and this is something which the State Government should take note of. Daily fresh cases of COVID-19 has seen a gradual downward trend in the last few days and this has led to an increase in the recovery rate which now stands at 92.44 percent (as on December 19). This should be all the more reason for the State Government to tighten its belt for this may just be the proverbial lull before the storm and a second wave, more acute than the first is something which cannot be ruled out at all. This is where the Government will need to revisit its earlier decision to do away with the practise of testing all incoming passengers by flight. It is also a matter of concern that passengers coming in by road are now no longer screened at the entry points of the State, Mao and Jiribam. One can never be too careful and one can never predict the behaviour pattern of the virus. Remember how the face mask was not thought to be indispensable when the virus first started creating mayhem at China and Italy. The concern expressed by the retired College Teachers is noteworthy, moreso in the face of the prediction from experts that the virus can get more active with the onset of Winter. As noted earlier, the decreasing number of positive cases may just be the proverbial lull before the storm and doing away with the mandatory testing of incoming passengers, by air or by road, may just amount to opening the doors for the virus to enter without much ado. No chance can be taken. This should be the bottomline for the Government. Remember there is as yet no vaccine and according to what Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said, the country will be able to vaccinate only about 30 crore people in the coming six to seven months. Only 30 crore, for remember the population of India is well above the 100 crore mark.
Test, trace and treat. The magical formula of the three Ts should not be forgotten. Not the time to be lax when it comes to testing and remember before the phrase, “all those who tested positive are locals with no significant travel history’, became the line used in all the statements issued by the COVID-19 Common Control Room, the positive cases came from the returnees, meaning the natives who returned to the State from different States during the lockdown period in special trains organised by the Government of India. In the face of this reality, the Government should reassess the merit of only testing symptomatic passengers at the airport. It is the asymptomatic folks who are the most likely to spread the virus and after all the days of lockdown, the series of SOPs issued, the restrictions placed on the movement and gathering of people, not testing all the incoming passengers can be like giving the license to spread to the virus. This is what is worrying and the concern by expressed the APSCS should be seen with the merit it deserves. Let the advisors to the Government also realise what the role of the designation ‘advisor’ denotes. On the other hand, if the Government still sticks to its stand of not testing all the incoming passengers, then it should be the bounden duty of all such passengers to get themselves tested voluntarily bearing the expenses from their own pockets. Remember the first people who they can spread the virus to are their family members.