How well prepared is Manipur ?
Rising daily spike
The statistics say it all. The second wave is more severe in some States and it spreads faster, much faster. Heart rending stories of patients left to themselves, with hospitals unable to take them in due to shortage of beds, lack of oxygen etc are now staple diets with any story that revolves around the coronavirus in its second avatar. The important question now is whether the Government of Manipur is ready to meet the challenges posed by the new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. How about the people ? Have any sense registered in their minds to discard the chalta hain attitude that has now become a part of the landscape in Imphal and other parts of the State ? Tough to say how Manipur will be able to cope with the onslaught of the second wave, for it will come, as the virus here knows no boundary and Manipur cannot expect to live cut off from the ugly reality that is unfolding across the country. It is in acknowledgment of the immense strain that the health care systems have been put under in other parts of the country that the State Government has watered down its earlier version of a negative result via RT-PCR, TrueNat, CB NAAT COVID-19 test and has gone ahead and included the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for people returning or visiting Manipur either by air or by road. Such is the strain that laboratories in other parts of the country are unable to give the results even after 72 hours and perhaps it is this which has prompted the State Government to say yes to RAT negative certificate. This should more than illustrate the immense pressure that has been mounted on the health care system across the country and it is only right that everyone, particularly the State Government rolls up its sleeves to deal with any situation in the coming days.
That Manipur will return to the daily spike of three figure was not at all unexpected and on April 24 reports have come in that the spike in the last 24 hours is 104. This should jolt the senses of the people. It will not stay at 104 and judging from the trend in other parts of the country, the number of daily spike will continue to rise and it is still not yet known whether the State has prepared well in advance to meet any possibilities. The important question now is whether the State Government used the time when there was a lull to equip the health care infrastructure or whether it has remained the same as it was. Ideally a sensitive Government should have learnt some lessons from countries which had already seen and experienced the second wave. Or is this asking for too much ? If and when the second wave hits Manipur in all its fury, as in other parts of the country, the Government will need to look beyond shutting the Ima Keithels. To discourage the people from loitering around with no mask in public places, the Government has already made the fine more stiff, a suggestion which The Sangai Express had made days earlier, but it will need to do more. This is where the Government will need to ensure that Manipur has enough stock of masks, hand sanitisers not to speak of adequate oxygen stock at the hospitals. How about hospital beds ?