Understanding the call from the Govt :
No lessons learnt from lockdown?
Government has relaxed lockdown to allow livelihood activities. As individuals, we must continue COVID prevention measures like social distancing, wearing face mask and washing hands with soap always. It must be remembered that 80 pc of COVID positive persons had no symptoms. So preventive measures should never be neglected. Please limit outdoor movement only to essential and unavoidable tasks. This was the National Health Mission and Directorate of Health Services, Government of Manipur in some of the leading Imphal based newspapers on May 4 and one may also add this line, Green Zone does not mean that a region cannot become an Orange or even a Red Zone. This is best exemplified by Davangere district in Karnataka which was a Green Zone but reported 21 positive cases of COVID-19 on May 3 and in the process recorded the highest single-day rise amongst all the districts in Karnataka. This should more than say how a Green Zone area can easily go on to become an Orange or a Red Zone and this should be no reason for Manipur, a Green Zone State, to remain lax. Now that the lockdown has been eased, traffic has started to become heavy on the roads of Imphal and in many ways this reminds one of the days before the COVID-19 triggered lockdown from March 25. Day I of the easing of the lockdown was in so many ways reminiscent of the earlier days and traffic personnel were all over the place to regulate the flow of traffic. That nothing has changed in the mindset of the people could be gauged from the fact that it was more like a case of ‘me first’, resulting in mindless blowing of the horn in some parts of Imphal and traffic snarls in other parts.
Day II was no different with many more rushing out on whatever grounds they may have had. There is a reason why the Government has sounded the call for the people to limit their outdoor movements, but a look at the roads of Imphal after the lockdown restrictions were eased, could have led one to believe that the COVID-19 issue has been settled for good. Unfortunately this is not the case and a look at Davangere district of Karnataka should remind all of the huge possibility of how a region under the Green Zone tag could suddenly become a COVID-19 hotspot. Nobody would want that to happen in Manipur but judging by the manner in which people have been rubbishing the call of the Government to take preventive measures paints an alarming picture. The number of violators pulled up daily and the fines collected from them should tell a significant story. So on Day I of the lockdown being eased, police detained at least 311 persons and collected a total of Rs 67,150 from the violators. The violation was primarily the refusal of the people to wear a face mask when they go out in the public sphere. It was not only on Day I that such a huge number of people were detained, booked and fined but earlier too. A look at the number of people detained, why they were detained and how much was collected as fines should tell the story of a people refusing to acknowledge that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over. This is frightening for this is dangerous for all.