Returning home with fake negative status
Understanding the reality
The impact of the global pandemic and its fall out must be obvious to all. Deaths, lockdowns, the extremely contagious nature of the virus, lack of medical oxygen for those who need it in the hospital, lack of ICU beds, the death blow dealt to the economy of the land and the people etc. These are the visible aspects of the havoc wreaked by the virus across the world but unseen and nevertheless equally disturbing would be to understand the impact it has had on the mentality of the people. This is particularly true of the numerous young students and employees in different sectors who have had to move outside Manipur to pursue their higher studies or to earn a living and this observation is made in the backdrop of the latest report that a young girl who had just returned home from Hyderabad has been ‘caught’ submitting a fake Covid negative report on arrival at Bir Tikendrajit Airport on April 22. Not surprising it is to see a number of key board warriors quickly coming out strongly against the ‘deceitful’ act and opining that the fine of Rs 2000/ slapped on her for camouflaging her Covid status was not in consonance with the ‘crime’ she had committed. The outrage is understandable but the fact that this came out amid reports of many arriving here by flight sans the Government mandated Covid negative results seems to have blown over the heads of many. It should also be noted that it was not for nothing why the High Court of Madras came out strongly against the Election Commission of India for not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of Covid protocols during the recently held Assembly elections across some States of the country. It should also be not forgotten that the Covid report was tweaked even as a number of eminent personalities have come out strongly against the manner in which Covid Appropriate Behaviour was flouted during the Kumbh Mela and how many eminent political leaders of the land could be seen canvassing and campaigning for the Assembly elections in some States rubbishing the call to maintain social distancing.
Yes it was irresponsible for the said young girl to have tweaked her Covid positive status, but it would also do good for all to remember that here is a young girl, who was most probably asked to leave her hostel amid the second wave of COVID-19. She was staying at an alien land and probably her friends would also be ready to leave for home. Just for a minute imagine how it would be for a young girl of 21 to fend for herself in a far away place, more so when she is Covid positive. These are some points which should not be forgotten in a hurry and this is where the Government would need to ensure that a stricter instruction is given to all returnees to stay isolated for the first 14 days or whatever period it is deemed necessary after their return. The story of the young girl is a reminder of the unseen but yet profound impact that the global pandemic has had on everyone and this is where more understanding and the need to see the other side of the story is urgently needed, else the spirit behind the act of arranging special trains for thousands of people of Manipur stranded in different parts of the country in the early part of 2020 will stand defeated. Let it also be clear to all that hiding one’s Covid status and fudging one’s status would not help anyone in any manner and perhaps it would be a better option to arrive sans the results and go in for the mandatory testing at the airport.