Needed : Responsible conduct
From Jiribam to Thoubal
Jiribam and now Thoubal. The unfolding situation is indeed disturbing. This is not to press the alarm button, but a clear message that no one can afford to let their guards down. After a Pradhan, a Member of the Gram Panchayat, a VDF personnel and a volunteer at a quarantine centre tested positive at Thoubal, there has been no let up to the spread of the virus, prompting the district administration of impose curfew on the whole of Thoubal district. This is thought to be a step down from the containment zone classification advocated by the Health Department, but whatever the case may be, the situation cannot be taken lightly by anyone. It is not for nothing why some officials concerned have expressed suspicion that the situation at Thoubal may be very near to the stage of community transmission. That such a suspicion has been voiced after the Indian Medical Association asserted that there is community transmission in the country is what makes ‘near the stage of community transmission’ suspicion all that more feasible (That the IMA later disowned this is another matter). Such an observation is not shooting in the dark, and clearly this is something which should be taken with the seriousness it matters. Curfew and mooting the idea that the whole of Thoubal district be declared a containment zone and this is a move from the containment zones declared in several areas of Thoubal including Moijing Awang Leikai, Athokpam Makha Leikai and the quarantine centre from where a volunteer tested positive. Will curfew work in checking the spread of the virus is the question which everyone should seriously mull over. And it goes without saying that making the intended purpose of the curfew successful or not will solely depend on how far the people of Thoubal are willing to understand the objective of imposing the curfew.
The Government should not lose focus. It cannot afford to do that. With 1930 positive cases as on July 20, Manipur is just behind Assam (25,092 with 58 deaths) and Tripura (2878 with 5 deaths) amongst the North Eastern States and if enough care is not taken, the State could well be breathing down the neck of Tripura in the coming days. This is not a medal’s tally and the lower that one comes down on the chart of positive cases, the better it would be for everyone. This is also a point which should be drilled into the heads of everyone but the question is how seriously have the people taken the global pandemic. From merry making inside a quarantine centre, to confronting the cops and health care workers again inside a quarantine centre to now picnicking and making merry throwing all precautionary measures to the wind and certain sections of the people really seem intent on increasing the number of positive cases in the State. This is what is unacceptable. Not surprising but all the merry making instances have gone viral on the social media and the people should be ashamed of themselves for they are exposing everyone to risk. This is a crime against society. The Government too should come to the point that this is not the time to score political points over each other but to get down to the business of thinking ways on how to curtail the spread of the virus. Irresponsible elected members of the House and an equally irresponsible people can be the perfect script for COVID-19 to take a heavy toll on the lives of the people.