Rapidly climbing cases of new infections
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The second wave may not yet have reached Manipur, but given the fact that geography is not a barrier to the virus, there is no reason to believe that the State and her people can stay insulated from the havoc played played out across the rest of the country, with daily infections having crossed the one lakh mark days back. At the same time it is disconcerting to note that many seem to be still under the illusion that the virus has still not reached Manipur and hence caution may be thrown to the wind. Such a mindset can be seen on the streets and roads of Imphal on any given day and the number of SOP violators being pulled up by the police on a daily basis should underline this point. A maskless man or woman walking non-chalantly on the roads of Imphal is not an uncommon sight today and this is what is worrying. Just for the record, India recorded 1,52,879 new positive cases on April 11 and just a day earlier, that is on April 10, the number was 1,45,384. On April 9, it was 1,31,968 new cases. The figures should tell its own story and on April 12, the total number had reached 1,68,912. Each day has surpassed the total of the day earlier and it would do good for all to note that experts have predicted that the number of new cases may go up to as much as 3 lakh a day during the peak of the infection trend. Again it is along this line, that India has now overtaken Brazil to be the country at the second spot with the highest number of infections and given this reality, it would be foolhardy to even entertain the idea that Manipur can stay aloof from what is happening in the rest of the country.
There is a reason why Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Tika Utsav, urging people to get vaccinated for the only answer to beat the virus seems to be vaccination. Kicked off on April 11, the Tika Utsav will go on till April 14, and one primary reason why such a campaign has been launched is to persuade the people to get the Covid shot. Here in Manipur Chief Minister N Biren and some of his Ministerial colleagues have taken the lead and got themselves vaccinated with the Covid shot on the first day of the Tika Utsav and this should be seen against the fact that till April 11, the number of people who have been inoculated was only 92,948 people. How people respond to the examples set by the Chief Minister will be known only when the Tika Utsav winds up, but let it be clear that the only way to beat the virus is to follow the SOPs to the T and take the vaccination shot. At the same time it would help if the State Government concentrates its energy and resources on how to dispel the many misgivings that people may have over the vaccines that are being administered. As stated many times in this column, the fight against Covid is a collective fight, meaning the Government and the people and this is precisely the reason why The Sangai Express has been repeatedly stressing on the importance of how people behave and why everyone will need to come to terms with the understanding of the new normal.