Don’t let the guards down The virus is tricky

    15-Dec-2021
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One point should be very clear. This is not the time to relax. The Government, the health machinery and the people as a whole cannot afford to let their guards down. The logic is simple enough. The virus is tricky and it mutates fast-the latest is the Omicron variant which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dubbed as a variant of concern. Manipur is yet to report any case of Omicron, but be sure this will land here in no time for no part of the world is an island and there is a reason why the world is today understood as a global village. Sure the daily positivity rate, the total number of new cases and the rush to the hospital have seen a marked decline in the last many days, but this is small comfort in the face of the third wave which many experts have predicted. And this prediction would not qualify as a case of shooting in the dark for this has come from experts, who have dealt with such cases in the past. India has already pressed the alert button over the new variant and while it is still not very clear how the virus behaves, it is significant to note that the ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh has prepared a kit that can detect the Omicron variant within a span of 2 hours.One can imagine the hours spent on the research, genome sequencing process etc of the new variant to be able to prepare such a kit and herein lies the seriousness of the health fraternity in taking the fight to the new variant. In such a situation it is only right that the State Government takes up a stringent course of action well ahead of time to avert the new variant as much as possible. Manipur certainly cannot afford to experience the loss incurred during the second wave of the coronavirus which has already claimed close to 2000 human lives so far. And 2000 is a huge number given the fact that the population of Manipur is only about 30 lakhs or so. Moreover despite all the steps taken up by the State Government, can the health infrastructure take another wave effectively ? How is the new variant different from the earlier variant such as Delta which has already taken a heavy toll ? How about the line of treatment ? Which part of the body is the new variant most likely to attack ? These are all questions at the moment, but important posers nonetheless and for which answers are likely to come soon.
The virus continues to claim lives. The figure speaks for itself and till December 11, coronavirus had already claimed the lives of 1989 people. This should more than underline the fact that the virus continues to kill and infect. With the Christmas festival drawing near, it is more than important that people be on their guard and while celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ it is equally important that all possible care is taken to ensure that no one endangers anyone. Coronavirus is not only about not getting infected but also has to do a lot with keeping one’s family members and near and dear ones safe. This is where the responsibility of everyone lies and the important question is whether the people have acknowledged this fact. After Christmas there is the New Year festivity that will follow. Welcome the New Year by all means but do it with a sense of responsibility. It is also important for all political parties to ensure that appropriate Covid behaviour is maintained during campaigning. Election is indispensable, no doubt about it and it comes once every five years, but this is a global epidemic and no chances should be taken. Today it is Omicron and no one is sure when the virus will mutate in any part of the world to deal another blow on mankind. Manipur certainly cannot afford to experience the loss and the immense strain that the health infrastructure was put under during the second wave of the pandemic and this is all the more reason why no efforts should be spared to ensure that the State is ready when the new variant lands here. And land here, it will, for as stated earlier the world today is a global village. Take note the Omicron variant has already been detected in other parts of the country. One only hopes that the BJP led Government at Imphal is up to the task at hand and takes up all possible measures to deal with the new variant when it lands here. The cooperation and understanding of the people is perhaps the first step that is needed to get ready to take the fight to the virus and any further mutation that it takes.