Somewhere near the green zone
No time to relax vigil
Manipur would definitely fall somewhere near the green zone, but it is definitely not in the red zone nor one of the hotspots. Two infected, both discharged, with one having undergone the mandatory self quarantine period of 14 days successfully after discharge. But this should not mean that vigil can be relaxed in any way. No fresh cases reported in more than 14 days now, but things can take a drastic turn, if the highways are opened and flights resume or if there is any lax on the vigil at the border areas. And as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his video conference with the Chief Ministers on April 27, the danger posed by the virus is far from over and constant vigil is of paramount importance. It also goes without saying that vigil here should understand beyond what the Government decides to do but also how the citizens respond to the reality. Even if air transport resumes, everyone should take it upon themselves to ensure that travel is kept at the minimum possible and much like today, when one moves out from one’s house only when it is absolutely necessary, air travel too should be taken only when it is absolutely necessary. Such is the character of the disease that it is not only the infected who is at risk but also all those who come into contact with him or her. Highly contagious it is and this is the reason why health workers have been expressing worries over the possible presence of many asymptomatic people, folks who may not outwardly show they have the infection but can still be carriers of the virus. The Prime Minister talked about graded exit from the lockdown and while Manipur will definitely come close to the green zone where only two cases have been reported so far, this should be no reason to let down the vigil. Let the restrictions continue coupled with avenues for more testing.
Let is also be very clear that it would be wrong to say Manipur is free of coronavirus. At the most it should be more about no new cases having been reported after the two positive cases. Clear in this observation is the line that fresh cases can still come up in Manipur, especially if and when the highways are opened and the air service resumes. There must be a reason why the Prime Minister fell short of exactly announcing that there would be yet another extension of the lockdown with reports coming in from New Delhi suggesting that extension, if any, may be announced around May 3. It is this reason which the people are expected to understand and appreciate. The lockdown is necessary for such is the nature of the virus that it can spread rapidly amongst the people. A look at the rapid rise in the number of those infected should give a fair idea of how contagious the virus is. No definite decision taken yet, and while the lockdown may be extended or not, it remains that the responsibility of the people will continue. Cut down on the socialising, maintain personal hygiene, whether the lockdown is extended or not, for the virus is still around. Better still it is also time for the people to prime themselves for a totally different lifestyle.