Focus on those returning/entering More needs to be done

Rightfully the focus is on those returning or entering Manipur and this is best exemplified by the recent order of the State Government making it mandatory for returnees or those arriving at Manipur to have a Covid negative result, taken 72 hours before stepping in to the State. The stipulation applies to all, whether one enters Manipur by road or by air and like earlier, the checking point will naturally be the airport and the two entry points at Mao Gate and Jiribam. With the second wave on with more ferocity than the earlier spell, it was a foregone conclusion that the new variant of the virus will come in via those returning to the State or from those arriving here. The stipulation of the Government is welcome, but this is a step which could have been taken up earlier. This is where it has become more and more important to inform the people on how many of those testing positive are from amongst the returnees and how many from those with no recent travel history. The daily statement issued by the COVID-19 Common Control Room does not say anything on this and this is what is flummoxing. This is a point which deserves a serious look, for this can go a long way  in making the people more alert to how the virus is spreading fast and as stated many times earlier in this column the virus knows now geography. The number of positive cases is also surging and a look back at the figure of the last seven days should give one an idea of how the virus has been surging and infecting at will. Again a point which has been repeated many times in this column, making it more and more important for all to strictly adhere to the SOPs laid down by the Government. A look back at the last 7 days should tell everyone of how the virus has been spreading at will. After a period of lull, Manipur has now started witnessing double digit spike in positive cases and on April 12, the number was 18.
From 18 on April 12, the number rose to 26 on April 13, then 21 on April 14. The double digit spike continued with April 15 recording 18 new cases and 31 new cases on April 16. This shot up to 39 on April 17 and on April 18, the number is a disturbing 72 new cases. All pointers that the virus is infecting at will and with experts holding that it is a new variant which is running riot, there is all that more reason for the people to be careful and strictly adhere to the SOPs. The Sangai Express has already spoken out on the need to impose more hefty fines and make it pinch the wallet of those who violate the SOPs with impunity for what is at stake here is the health of all and no one has the right to toy around with public health. The new normal, this is what everyone should be adhering to. So mask up, avoid gatherings, maintain physical distancing-there is absolutely no need to stand cheek by jowl with anyone, wash one’s hands religiously with soap and water or a hand sanitiser. These are easy enough instructions to follow and one wonders why people here are reluctant to follow these simple commandments. A look at what is happening across the country should more than say that the number of cases will only keep on  increasing and Manipur will be no exception and the only way to flatten the curve would be for everyone to stick to Covid appropriate behaviour. On the other hand, it would also be helpful if the people can get over their initial hesitancy and go in for the Covid vaccination shot. In securing oneself, one is ensuring the safety of one’s family. This is the bottomline. Time for all to be more responsible and stick to the appropriate behaviour which has been laid down by experts.