From 1260 positive cases on July 1 to 2756 such cases on August 1 and clearly the rate of infection has been steeply climbing, especially when viewed against the fact that on April 14, Manipur had just two cases. So within a span of one month Manipur saw the addition of 1496 positive cases and cap this off with the fact that the State has already registered 7 deaths, all coming within a few days time from July 29, when the State recorded its first death, to August 2 the spread is disturbing. While the State Health Department has ruled out community spread as of now, it has not stopped from stating that the next stage would be community transmission. Local transmission is real, very real now and this is where the Government would need to think beyond the lockdown and see what other steps should be taken up to contain the situation. At the same time it also stands that the responsibility of the people cannot be over emphasised and the directive to all those who may have been exposed to the virus to go in for home quarantine should be taken with the seriousness it deserves. Even after a suspect has been declared negative in the first test, all should strictly follow the prescribed home quarantine period, for no one can write off the high possibility of ‘false negatives’. This is a fact that everyone concerned should come to grips with else things can only get worse and it would be a disturbing if the number of infection rises to the 5000 mark say within one week’s time.
Local transmission is here to stay and this is where it becomes incumbent on everyone to adhere to certain social behaviour. If the Government says, don’t congregate, don’t. Likewise the call is for everyone to wear face mask whenever anyone steps out from one’s house, and it is important for everyone to follow this simple but effective instruction. Maintain physical or social distancing and this should be seen beyond the call to keep at least one metre (three feet) distance with the next person but needs to be seen as telling the people to stop social dos, such as entertainment programmes, religious gatherings etc. The figure of seven deaths and 2756 positive cases should be seen as the wake up call to everyone to strictly follow the laid down protocols and at the same time, the Government would need to look beyond the lockdown. As one doctor on his social media post put it, who is keeping tab on those who have recovered from COVID-19 infection ? This poser is important as the medical world is already talking about plasma treatment from the recovered people. This line of reasoning is simple enough for the laymen to understand. As people who have recovered from COVID-19 develop natural defences to the disease in their blood, the anti-bodies found in their plasma may be studied and replicated in other people who have just contracted the virus. This is where the Government would need to think out of the box and see how the plasma of the recovered people may be put to good use and the first step towards this would obviously mean keeping a tab on those who have recovered from the disease. This is a line of thought which the Government should seriously study.