From Wuhan to over 70 countries:
Strict vigil should continue
The mortality rate may be low but this is not the issue. What is worrying is the rapid spread of the virus and from Wuhan in China, today the coronavirus has spread to over 70 countries. Over 3100 people have died and over 90,000 cases have been reported from across the world. Making things all that more worrisome is the fact that the world is yet to come out with a vaccine to combat the disease which today threatens numerous global events, including sports. Tokyo may say that the Olympics is on track, but this should not blind the people to the fact that many tournaments have had to be rescheduled in the face of the rapid spread of the disease. Taking cognizance of the grim reality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced that he would not be taking part in the Holi festival, one of the biggest festivals in India. BJP National president JP Nadda has also issued a directive to all State unit presidents of the BJP not to hold Holi programmes in the face of coronavirus. This however does not mean that one should press the alarm button, but what the situation demands is for everyone to be kept well informed and accordingly take up the advisories issued by the relevant departments from time to time. At the moment, it is to wash one’s hand, either with soap and water or with a hand sanitiser regularly and not to mingle in big crowds, where the chances of getting infected are all that much higher.
The host is human beings and so if A is infected then there are many chances for B to get infected if the two are in close contact. This is how the disease spreads. So far no deaths have been reported in India and while one can pray providence for this, there is no guarantee that this situation will continue. For Manipur it is fortunate that none of its immediate neighbours have reported any positive cases of COVID-19, but this should be no reason to take things easy. The ten samples which had been sent for testing have all returned negative and this is welcome but the State Government and the people cannot afford to forget that at the moment 55 people in Assam have been put under surveillance. There is also no report of any positive case from Myanmar so far, a country which lies just to the east of Manipur. But given the close contacts that Myanmar has with southeast Asian countries, including China, Manipur cannot afford to remain lax on keeping a sharp tab on its border particularly at Moreh, Behiang and Tusom in Ukhrul. No vaccine at the moment and while Manipur, like the rest of the world, has to wait for a vaccine, utmost care need to be taken to keep the virus at bay. The rapid spread of the disease is what is worrying. That the Government is seriously mulling about putting a ban on Thabal Chongba during the coming Yaoshang festival is a positive step and one hopes the reason for taking up such a step is welcomed by all.