It is now official. Manipur is in the Green Zone. And this is where the responsibility of the State Government and the people becomes all that more important. The simple fact is, Green or Orange or Red Zone, the virus is still around and it can strike anyone and hence the need to be all that more careful given that certain leeway will be in line with the official announcement that Manipur falls under the Green Zone. Significant to note that even though the guidelines from the Centre said that buses can operate, the State Government has laid down that all public transport including buses, taxis and auto rickshaws will continue to be banned during the lockdown period. This is in line with the fact that it would not be possible to monitor the movement of everyone and ensure that all buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws comply with the 50 percent occupancy rider deemed indispensable by the Centre. A point which should be acknowledged by the people, for as stated earlier here, the virus is still around and there is nothing to guarantee that a Green Zone cannot become an Orange Zone or even a Red Zone. Being careful has never cost anything and remember one here is talking about a life threatening disease for which there is no cure or vaccine. The directive that the markets at the three Ima Keithels should continue to remain closed is also significant. Moreover with no bus or auto rickshaw service, opening any of these markets would not have served any purpose. It should also be noted that the said three market places were the first to be shut, before the Nationwide lockdown call came into effect.
Good to see that the State Government is not taking things easy. Green Zone should not mean that Manipur is free from the virus, at best it should only mean what the books say, that is no new infection in the past 30 days. Nothing more than this and it should not be any reason to let the guards down. A clear indication that the fight is still far from over and this should be understood in the decision to continue with the restrictions. The State Government has already made it clear that restrictions will continue in many spheres listing them under 15 heads while making it clear that what is not mentioned in the listings would be allowed. This should however not mean that it is a free for all in the areas which have not been listed. Say no to socialising. The period from 6 am to 6 pm should not mean that people should go about socialising as if the virus has been tackled effectively. Far from it and as many experts have predicted, May could be a critical period for India as cases may peak. The numbers continue to rise-in the number of infected people as well as in the number of deaths. This is a trying period and the relaxation given in certain spheres should be taken as the best time for the people to demonstrate that they can live up to the conditions laid down by the Government, for this is a public health issue.