Creating space for super spreader
Violating SOPs with impunity
The figure is disturbing, extremely disturbing. The second wave is on, but it is the rapid spread of the virus that should worry everyone. Twenty four hours after India recorded 72,330 new cases on April 1, the spread shot up to 81,466 on April 2, making more and more sense of the gif that is doing the round on Whatsapp, which shows a kitten being pulled up from a dry well only for the rescued kitten to fall into yet another dry well. Fittingly the first dry well was dubbed 2020 and the second dry well 2021. Not exactly jumping from the pan to the fire but going from a frying pan to another frying pan. This is what is happening in some parts of the country and unfortunate it is that the people of Manipur just do not seem to have learnt any lesson by just looking at what is happening around. It should also be kept in mind that while the second surge may be rampant only in some States such as Maharashtra, the fact is the virus moves and fast and it can reach Manipur anytime. This is the bare fact and it is extremely unfortunate that the people just did not seem ready to listen to the wisdom of the Government in going ahead and banning Thabal Chongba and Shumang Leela during the just concluded Yaoshang festival. But there is only so much that the Government can do and the fact that the import of the decision to ban two important parts of Yaoshang festival did not register in the minds of the people could be seen openly at the manner in which the SOPs were seen violated at different parts of the State during the five days festival. As reported in the seven column news in The Sangai Express on April 2, to many the SOPs were issued to be violated at will and the single photo that accompanied the news story should more than tell that young people cocked a snook at the call to wear a face mask while moving out and to maintain social distancing in public places.
The daily data of people testing positive in single digit, which has been the norm in the last many days, can just be the lull before the storm, but many of the positive cases that have been reported have come from those who have just returned by flights from other parts of the country. Remember Manipur too joined the Covid map with only one case back on March 24 in 2020. Here it becomes very important for all not to forget that while the first many cases came from those returning home during the Nationwide lockdown in special trains arranged by the Government, it soon spread to people who had no known history of travelling outside the State. Situation in 2020 was such that a group of retired doctors had come together to suggest that community transmission was very much on. This is a fact that can only be overlooked at the peril of everyone. Yaoshang is now over but the virus is still out there and lined up are two more festivals, Meitei Cheiraoba and Goura Cheiraoba. Will people again flout all the SOPs laid down by the Government or will some sense have seeped into the heads of all ? Certain States have gone in for localised lockdown to contain the spread of the virus and to break the chain of transmission and the important question is whether Manipur can afford to go in for another spell of lockdown, even though it may be very localised. This is a question which should haunt everyone and remember experts have already predicted that the peak may well come in mid-April this year.