PM’s mantra : Keep all in the loop: Porous border and lockdown

    08-Apr-2020
Reaching out to former Presidents of the country, former Prime Ministers and Opposition leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated that he wants to keep everyone in the loop for the current fight against coronavirus is above party politics. The Prime Minister has also made it clear that the lockdown would not be lifted in one go all over the country and the lifting process will be taken up phase by phase. In the same vein the Prime Minister is also understood to have suggested that the present Nationwide lockdown which is scheduled to end on April 14 may be extended. The suggestion of the Prime Minister comes close on the heels of numerous State Governments voicing the need to extend the lockdown to flatten the curve. Chief Minister N Biren is also among the Chief Ministers who have called for an extension of the lockdown and the decision to ask the Centre to extend the lockdown should be seen in its correct perspective. It is not at all an attempt to play to the gallery for what is central to the lockdown is beyond the need to earn brownie points. What is at stake here is human lives.  It also stands that along with extending the lockdown the Government and all concerned should take extra care to ensure that the best foot is put forward to deal with any exigency and the latest report that a young lady made it all the way to Manipur from China without taking to the air, crossing Myanmar is not at all a comforting thought.
Fortunate that the lady in question here tested negative for the virus after her samples were tested at RIMS but this should not take away the gravity of the case. The disturbing question is, how did she manage to make her way to Manipur after crossing the Indo-Myanmar border ? Isn’t the border sealed ? That the border is porous is to everyone’s knowledge but the fact that the young lady managed to make her way to Manipur without much ado should open the eyes of the Government to the peril at hand. This is the opportune moment for the Government to study how to beef up security along the border and this will serve the interest of the State and the country in the long run. Fortunate it is that the young lady here tested negative and it is a scary proposition to even think how the situation would have been like if she had tested positive. Tracing all the contacts while she made her way to Manipur after crossing Myanmar would have been next to impossible. In a sense lucky too that she developed some medical complicacy necessitating her admission to RIMS, for this can and should open the eyes of the Government to how vulnerable Manipur is in the current situation. Apart from suggesting that the lockdown be extended it would also do good for the Chief Minister to address the fact that hand sanitisers and face masks are today not at all available in the market. Are they being hoarded by some business sharks out to capitalise on the ‘social emergency’ or are they actually in short supply ? This point should be addressed too.