From a high of 426 to zero Caution still needed

From a high of 426 cases in 24 hours on October 17, 2020 to ‘no cases’ on March 15, 2021 and this is certainly good news. But this is not the time to break out in a jingle and dance in the rain ! The virus is still out there and no one can possibly write off the chances of a second wave. Expert opinions are still out there on whether some cities in India are experiencing a second wave of the virus, with Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu reporting a surge in daily cases, according to a report received as recently as March 13. It would also do good for everyone to note that while the average cases in the first week of March this year across the country was 10,988 per day, this increased to 18,371 per day by the 10th of March. And on the 14th of March the total tally was 25,320. Maharashtra the State with the highest number of cases, saw a sharp slump after the State recorded as much as 25,000 cases per day but now this has again started rising to about 16,000 cases per day. Little wonder then that a number of experts hold the view that there is a second wave since late February and early March and the brief figures enumerated above should serve as a reminder to everyone that this is not the time to sing hallelujah. Rewind to October 17, 2020 when Manipur recorded her highest single day spike of 426 cases and it would do good for everyone to remember that the total figure of positive cases was 15,141 while the death toll was 111 back then. Fast forward to March 15, 2021 and while Manipur did not record even a single case of coronavirus, the total had by then climbed to 29,879 while the number of deaths was 373. The mortality figure has been the same for the last few days with no new death cases and it is also true that the State has been experiencing the daily increase in single digit since the last many days, before the zero figure came.
As stated earlier here, the zero figure should not lull anyone into a sense of complacency and this word of caution is all that more important given that many seem to have forgotten that the virus is still out there. The zero figure should not mean that the virus has been defeated or reined in. On the contrary the spread of the virus is on the upswing in certain parts of the country and given its nature there is no guarantee that it cannot land here. This is what should not be forgotten by anyone. The call for caution is all that more important given that Yaoshang is fast approaching and while the Government has gone ahead and banned Thabal Chongba and Shuman Lila during the festival, the spirit behind the restrictions put by the Government should be understood and appreciated. Sure the festivities around Yaoshang will be dampened to a great extent, but one here is talking about public health, which has already claimed over 300 lives and dealt a crippling blow on the economic pursuit of numerous people. Schools are yet to open fully and as a result school vans are yet to start plying normally. All these examples have been quoted to underline the point that one cannot be too careful when it comes to coronavirus. It is a global pandemic and scientists are still out there debating whether the second wave will be as lethal as the first wave. In such a scenario, Manipur certainly cannot afford a second wave of the virus and the only way to ensure is for everyone to follow the three commandments of wear a mask, wash one’s hand thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing. This is new normal and it is here to stay, at least for now.