Focus on the local transmission
Time to act sensibly
The Government should change focus. The people too need to come to the realisation that today they are no longer facing an ‘alien’ virus which piggy rode on the thousands of returnees who came back recently from different parts of the country. If not for anything else, the figures of the last 48 hours should tell the story. One hundred and forty three people with no travel history testing positive in two days is more than a loud reminder to all that local transmission is here. With no official data to bank on, one here has to go back to the numerous reports that have been filed in the last many days to draw a rough estimate to say that of the more than 3000 positive cases in the State, people with no travel history must be accounting for nearly 500 cases. This means more than 15 percent of the positive cases have come from people who have not stepped outside the boundary of Manipur in recent times and this is cause for concern. Or is it so, is the question that one would like to raise, for a look at the official website of the State Government, which gives the latest updates on the COVID-19 status in the State, does not have anything on the number of infections via local transmission. Certainly not the way to go about it. Moreover how soon are family members of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus, tested to officially know their status ? This poser has again been raised following complaints to the office of The Sangai Express of how some family members of an infected person have been told to wait for one week to get tested ! This certainly goes against the understanding of a pandemic under which the dwelling place of the said family can be declared a containment zone under the Manipur Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations 2020.
Maybe it is the official definition and this is why it is yet to be officially declared that there is community transmission in Manipur, but none can deny that there is local transmission today. It is this which must be dealt with on a war footing and the Government will need to look beyond lockdown. This suggestion is important for it stands that no place can continue to live under a state of lockdowns for an indefinite period. The current phase of lockdown will end on August 6, and here it becomes important to question, after this what ? This is where the people need to wake up to the fact that they can no longer afford to live in ignorance coupled by a defiant and selfish attitude. Follow the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and the Indian Council of Medical Research. Wear a mask while stepping out and wear it properly, covering the mouth and nose. Maintain physical or social distancing, that is keep apart at least one metre or three feet. Wash one’s hand thoroughly with soap or rub with a hand sanitiser. It is best that these guidelines are taken as the Biblical dos and don’ts not to get infected and stay alive ! Stop organising social and family dos, which are avoidable. A little discipline, a little concern for the people next door and the dos and don’ts should not be such a tough task to follow. As things stand today, the virus has already claimed the lives of seven people and if this does not wake up the sensibilities of all, then what more can one say ?