More deaths, more concern More awareness needed
Not a case of the virus getting more lethal but the fact that five people have died due COVID-19, all in a span of less than 72 hours, should perhaps tell the Government that it needs to think out of the box. The deaths should more than say that the Government and its various agencies will have to acknowledge that minds too need to be applied on how to dispose the bodies. This is where mass awareness campaign is needed. That Manipur too would see fatalities due to COVID-19 is something which the Government should have thought about the moment the virus began to spread across the country necessitating the countrywide lockdown. The job of the Government does not begin and end with the containment measures but also on how to dispose bodies of victims claimed by the virus. And if the present trend of positive cases increasing each day in double digit continues, then rest assured Manipur can expect to see more deaths in the coming days. Focus on frontline workers should be there, no doubt about it, but in the process, the Government cannot afford to overlook those working behind the scenes. How well are the employees of the Health Directorate, including those engaged in the National Health Mission co-ordinating with each other ? Take everyone along. Make them feel part of the larger agenda to help the people and save them from the virus which has already taken a very toll on the life and health of the people. The question is how successful have the people at the top been able to take those who come lower down the ladder along with them ? Do away with coteries, especially those who only know how to cosy up to the power centres, for what one is talking about here is a pandemic which has taken a heavy toll on human lives across the world.
Now that death due to coronavirus is a reality here and not just something which happens far away and which one read only about in the newspapers and see on television, the Government and its machinery will have to focus on the intricacies of disposing the bodies of the people who have died due to the virus. The first case should more than say that in all the days of lockdown, not much thought was given on how to dispose the bodies. Along with the dos and don’ts it is also extremely important for the experts, especially the health professionals and the Government to launch a publicity drive on the threats that the virus from a lifeless body can pose to the people. How about disposing ? What is the best method to dispose the body ? Religious belief of the person who has just passed away will no doubt have to be taken into consideration, but wouldn’t it help for the Government to educate the masses on the threat that the lifeless body of a COVID-19 patient can pose to the people ? Along with the mass campaign of urging people to stay indoors, wash one’s hands frequently and maintain personal hygiene, the time is right now for the authority concerned to advise the people on the best way to dispose the body. This is about looking beyond the call to maintain social distancing and follow safety protocols but a reality which all should come face to face with.