What is the test conducted at airport ?
Looking at airport, Mao, Jiri
Keeping the virus out would be next to impossible. This is a given, yet this should not be taken to mean that a free run should be given for the virus to spread and create havoc. This is where questions may well be raised on how serious is the Government with its earlier announcement that all returnees or those arriving at Manipur would have to produce a negative result, procured not more than 72 hours earlier, on their arrival at the BT Airport or at Mao Gate or Jiribam. The order came into effect from April 18. This is fine and expected of the Government in its fight to check the spread of the virus here in Manipur. However the question of greater import is how judiciously is the order of the Government being followed at the airport and the two entry points by road to Manipur ? As already reported in The Sangai Express in the April 19th issue, at least 90 percent of those who tried to enter Manipur via Mao Gate did not have the mandatory Covid negative report with them. As the returnees could not possibly be turned away, their samples were collected at Mao Gate to be sent to JNIMS for the necessary testing, with the strict instructions to all not to venture out pending the result of their status. This is the most that could have been done, but the report that at least 90 percent of those who made their way to Imphal and elsewhere via Mao did not have the necessary negative results, is a matter of serious concern. It could mean that many of them were not aware of the strictures issued by the Government and at the more unacceptable side it could mean that many did not feel the need to undertake the necessary test before trying to return or enter Manipur. More worrying was the report that as many as 111 air passengers were tested for Covid and all of them were found negative. This is where serious questions may be raised on ‘what type of test was conducted’ If it was the RT-PCR or any of the other two tests specified by the Government, would it have been possible to get the results so soon ?
Were the test conducted at the airport itself or were they sent to one of the Government run testing labs, like JNIMS ? These are questions which are relevant for one straight line explanation, ‘So and so many were tested and all of them were negative” sounds too casual. And a casual approach to the matter at hand is certainly not what the situation demands. On the other hand this could also mean that as many as 111 passengers did not have the stipulated negative test results with them when they landed here. Is it a case of taking things too casually or a case of the stipulation of the Government not reaching their knowledge ? Either way this is not a comforting thought at all. As things stand, Delhi has already announced a one week lockdown in the face of the steeply rising positive cases there and it should be kept in mind that there are many from Manipur who are staying there. As repeated many times in this column, Manipur certainly cannot afford to have another spell of the virus running amok here, and the best approach would be to acknowledge the reality and accordingly take up the needed steps.