Mantra of trace, test and treat
Giving up the fight ?
For three days on the trot, Manipur has been registering a growth rate of over 200 positive cases and this is worrying. Making it more worrying is the growing number of people with no known travel history getting infected. The figure should speak for themselves. On September 25, out of the 196 civilians who tested positive 194 had no known travel history. It was more or less the same on September 26 with 232 out of the 240 civilians who tested positive having no known travel history and on September 27 out of the 180 civilians who tested positive, 175 had no known travel history. Local transmission is here and it was not without a reason why some former health professionals who have come under a common umbrella had gone on record to assert that Manipur is in the first phase of community transmission. One expected the State Government to spell out its stand on this declaration, but there has been no response so far. The ‘community transmission’ assertion has neither been rejected nor responded to and this is where one gets the uncomfortable feeling that no straight answer would be forthcoming. At Ukhrul too, strong apprehension of local transmission has already been raised with 12 out of the 15 persons who tested positive on September 25, having no known travel history. Making it all that more disturbing is the report that the 12 positive people all belong to the same village, Langdang village, which lies on the way between Ukhrul district headquarters and Shirui village. Daily spike of over 200 everyday and it is along this line that Manipur today has over 10,000 positive cases with 8090 coming from amongst the general population and the rest from the Central security personnel.
The situation is disturbing, no doubt. But making it more disturbing is the report that no stringent efforts have been taken up to effectively follow contact tracing inevitably giving rise to the question, ‘Giving up the fight ?’. That this is the case when local transmission is on the rise is what is extremely disturbing. The three Ts-trace, test and treat-can only be overlooked to the detriment of everyone. Remember South Korea which has done a much better job than India and other countries in keeping the disease under check, followed this mantra to the T. That it has taken a Health official to spill this and opine that contact tracing is not effectively followed should tell where the priority of the State Government lies. This is not the time to relax. Unlock 4.0 is on and this is all the more reason why people who matter need to be on their toes and not let anything slip through. And contact tracing is one such approach to keep a check on the increasing number of positive cases amongst people with no known travel history. The daily updates given by the Health Department on the number of people without travel history testing positive should wake everyone up. Coronavirus is not a joke. Manipur has already seen 66 deaths due to the virus so far and with the number of positive cases increasing each day with figures of over 200, the death toll too will continue to climb. This is the reality and the only way to keep this trend under check would be for everyone to pull up their socks and dispense with the duty assigned to them meticulously.