It is not a joke and as things stand today, the Wuhan coronavirus has spread throughout the world. This is not an issue specific to a country, a region or even a continent, but is a global issue. Top this off with the official stand of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has maintained, “There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV (virus) and the WHO recommends enrolment into a randomised controlled trial to test efficacy and safety.” WHO’s stand came in the face of media reports on ‘breakthrough’ drugs discovered to treat people infected with the new coronavirus. The reality thus stands-the new virus which emerged in Wuhan province of China has spread across the world and there is as yet no standard procedure to treat the disease, which has caused death. Just how contagious the new coronavirus is can perhaps be drawn from the report that a new born baby in China tested positive for the said virus, 30 hours after birth. The infection came from the mother who contracted the disease while she was pregnant with the child. A global issue and as no place is an island, Manipur too has taken up preventive measures, since this is the only way to fend off the disease but just how serious is the State can perhaps be gauged by the report that no medical officials have been deployed at the porous border village of Tusom in Ukhrul district. Couple this with another report that clothes and goods continue to come in unchecked from Myanmar via Moreh and one can surmise the ground reality.
This is the time to be serious. Already coronavirus has killed more than 550 people in China alone and more than two persons have tested positive for the said virus in India. Now if the highly contagious virus were to land in Manipur, one can only imagine the situation. Is this the way a State should be prepared to meet any eventuality given the fact that the new coronavirus has spread all over the world after its outbreak was reported some time in December last year at Wuhan in China. A sure sign that humans can be very good carriers of the virus and this is where extra efforts are needed to keep the virus at bay. Manipur is not that far off from China and many goods and clothes of Chinese origin do come to Manipur via Moreh and this is where effective measures are needed to keep a strict check on the goods brought in from Moreh. It is also only right that strict vigils are maintained at all the areas bordering Myanmar, where cross border interactions between people from either side of the border are regular affairs. These are calls for preventive measures that may be taken up and it is scary that no medical officials have been posted at Tusom village on the India-Myanmar border.