Wanted : Total figure of local transmission
Set right priority
Local transmission is real. It is not something unthinkable here now. This is what is worrying the people the most. What is also worrying is the failure of the department concerned to give an updated figure of how many have been locally infected. Or to put it in the official line of the Government, how many people with no travel history have tested positive ? True daily updates are available, with the State Health Department giving information of so and so number of people with no travel history having tested positive and this is a line which avid newspaper readers must have come across everyday when they open their newspaper to go along with their morning cuppa. But what is missing is the total number of people with no travel history getting infected so far. This failure to give an update on how many people with no known travel history have tested positive so far became very apparent when Chief Minister N Biren fell short of classifying the infected between the returnees and those without any travel history in his address to the people on August 5. An ugly reminder that the department concerned failed to give the latest update to the office of the Chief Minister and this is what is extremely disturbing. It is the local transmission or the positive cases among those with no travel history which should be the biggest cause of concern to the Government and the health workers. If the matter had been taken with the seriousness it deserves, then the least all those concerned can do is to give the latest and most accurate update on the total number of positive cases amongst people with no travel history. Such a data can go some significant way in charting out future course of action else it will be a damning statement that the Government has not been able to look beyond imposing lockdowns and more lockdowns.
The Chief Minister must take note of this utter shortcoming. How many people with no known travel history have tested positive so far in Manipur ? True daily inputs are given to the media houses, but it is not always possible to keep track of each case everyday and the least that is expected is for the authority concerned to upload information such as the total number of cases with no known travel history. No lesson seems to have been drawn from the Ukhrul fiasco, when the first report said that 25 inmates of a quarantine centre have tested negative but the second report conveniently said that the 25 inmates are indeed positive. The two contradictory reports came within 48 hours of each other and yet after this, another report came in that of the 24 samples out of the previous 25 tested, 19 cases were found negative. The story broke out on June 28 but till date there has been no official explanation on how the goof up happened. Everyone concerned just looked the other way and behaved as if wrongly declaring a person as positive or negative is part of the game ! It is this mindset which is starkly visible in the utter failure to come out with an official figure on how many people with no known travel history have tested positive. The situation is getting more and more complicated with more and more testing positive and if the people concerned are reluctant to keep the people informed, then they are just scripting the perfect setting for misinformation to gain traction and this would be self defeating.