Climbing number of cases, deaths Time to think out of the box

The State Government will need to think out of the box. Despite the restrictions, the lockdowns and the SOPs the number of positive cases continue to grow and the five deaths on a single day should be a grim reminder that this was in line with the spread of the infection. Perhaps the only silver lining that one could see on the day that Manipur witnessed five deaths due to COVID-19 was the number of positive cases detected dropped to 102 from the 125 cases detected on September 2. This figure is also testimony that three figure increase continues to define the spread of the disease and it has been like this for the last many days. The number of infected at the moment stands at 6609 and the number of death at 34. True these figures will pale in comparison to other States, such as Assam or even Tripura not to speak about bigger States like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telengana and Karnataka, but to a State like Manipur these figures are significant. With just about 30 lakh population, the increase at the rate of over 100 per day cannot be comfortable by any stretch of the imagination. Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh are comparable to Manipur in terms of population and area but the number of infection in these States are way below Manipur and this should convince the State Government that some- thing more needs to be done. For the record, Manipur is only behind Assam and Tripura in the North East so far but way ahead of the others such as Nagaland where the number of positive cases has been put at 4017 with 9 deaths.
Something more needs to be done. And perhaps this is where the help and assistance of local clubs can be seriously considered to ‘educate’ the people that the gradual opening of the lockdown is not in any way saying that the virus has been neutralised. Let there be more awareness campaign and let there be more drives to let the people come to the realisation that it is their self discipline which will go a long way in curbing the spread of the disease. Let the people be ‘educated’ on  how to wear the face mask whenever they step outside. This point is important for it is not uncommon to see a number of people just letting the mask cover their mouth but not their nose or just nose and not their mouth. That wearing the face mask is not some fashion statement but wearing a protective gear is a point that needs to be knocked into the consciousness of the people. Moreover it has now become more and more important to vigorously remind the people that the decision to gradually unlock and ease the restrictions is not because the virus has been neutralised but because there is the growing need to let economic activities resume and for this all need to follow the dos and don’ts issued by the World Health Organisation. Other than reminding the people of their basic responsibilities, the Government will need to think out of the box and see how it should proceed. Taking a leaf or two out of the places which have done a commendable job in checking the spread of the virus may be a good start.