Need to keep virus contained : Not what the doc would prescribe
Utmost care is needed in the fight to keep the virus contained and not let it blow out of proportion else Manipur could well descend into a state of chaos and confusion. There is still time but this is not the reason to let anyone catch any of the key departments which are at the forefront to keep the contagion under control with its pants down. And obviously creating a situation in which a recovered COVID-19 patient had to return home in a hired auto-rickshaw is certainly not what the doctor would prescribe and not what anyone would back. That this actually happened is cause for deep worry and concern, not only for the extremely dehumanising manner in which the recovered patient was treated but also for exposing the auto-driver to a dicey situation. The story has been published in The Sangai Express and it would help greatly if the report is taken in the right spirit and everyone concerned comes to the reality that there are loopholes to be plugged or else it could lead to so many undesirable consequences. Even as this one unsavoury incident came to light, the number of positive people in Manipur continues to increase with the figure of June 1, putting it at 83, with 72 active cases. Likewise in the country too, the figure of positive people continues to climb clearly demonstrating that the curve is yet to be flattened. This should explain why lockdown 5.0 has been announced across the country, most stringently in containment zones. The question is, which are the areas in Manipur which can be or have been declared as containment zones ? No exhaustive identification of areas which can come under containment zones in Manipur has been issued and this can mean two things-on the more positive side it could mean there are no large stretches of areas which can come under the definition of a containment zone and on the other hand it could mean that a detailed mapping out of the region is yet to be conducted, save for a house or two which have been sealed.
The State Government has already issued its version of Lockdown 5.0 and while the Centre did say that hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls would be permitted to open from June 8, the State Government has remained silent on this. So in a place like Delhi, where the infection rate is high, very high with some deaths reported, certain leeways have been given such as markets and market complexes which can remain open while in Manipur, the lockdown continues in the three Ima Keithels and Ngari Gali. Incidentally the said three Ima Keithels and Ngari Gali have been closed since March 21, much before the National lockdown started on March 25. Each State has its own peculiarities and a uniform arrangement will obviously not be possible, but it is significant to note that even as restrictions have started to ease, the number of infection continues to grow. In Manipur, when Lockdown 1.0 started on March 25, it had only one positive case, the case being detected on March 24. Then again on April 2, when a Tablighi Jamat participant tested positive and after these two cases, Manipur did enjoy days of no positive case. The number shot up only when people of Manipur stranded in different parts of the country were allowed to return in special trains, later flights and by roads. Perhaps it would have made more sense to enforce the lockdown strictly here from the moment the number started increasing and not earlier. The number will continue to increase and one only hopes that the Government has worked out a detailed plan to meet the challenges in the coming days.