How well prepared is the State Govt ?
What were you doing for last 14 months without a plan to fight COVID-19 second wave. This was the High Court of Madras to the Centre and this question may be viewed against the backdrop of the rising Covid cases, in which India has been reporting over 3 lakh positive cases daily for the last couple of days. Not to speak about deaths which has already breached the 3000 mark on a single day. The figure is disturbing, acutely disturbing and the recent decision taken by the Centre to expand the vaccination drive and include all those between the age group of 18 and 44 should be seen against the ugly and disturbing reality where many have passed away due to lack of medical oxygen and lack of beds in the ICU. Many such disturbing and heart rending stories have been coming in the last many days and situation does not look comforting at all given that many experts have predicted that India is yet to see the peak. Tweak the question raised by the Madras High Court to the Centre and one may well ask what steps has the Government at Imphal taken up to deal with any exigencies. That a second wave would come was a foregone conclusion, and it was for this very reason why The Sangai Express kept on reminding the readers that the lull in the spread of the infection should not be taken to mean that the virus is dead. In fact it is very much out there and the rising number of cases, with April 28 returning a record of 259 positive cases should underline this point. 4 pm of April 28, 2021-this was the time and date that was set for those between the age group of 18 to 44 to register themselves for the anti-Covid jab on the Co-WIN portal. It is still not known how many from Manipur have registered for the Covid jab, but the more important question is whether the State would be in a position to go ahead with the vaccination drive from May 1 itself or whether it will wait for the needed suggestions from the Centre.
There are still some questions which ought to be raised. Has the State Government contacted the vaccine suppliers, that is Serum Institute of India, which supplies Covishield and Bharat Biotech which supplies Covaxin ? Not yet clear as no information regarding this has been given and queries on this have not been addressed to. As reported, the two companies are understood to have informed a number of State Governments that they would not be in a position to deliver the vaccines by the set deadline of May 1 and certainly not before the middle part of May. Has any of the two said companies communicated with the State Government on this point ? It would also be appropriate to ask if the State has enough vaccines to administer the doses to all those who are 45 and above. More importantly does the State have enough supply to give the second shot to those who have received the first shot some time back ? Interestingly there is no information on the vaccine stock in Manipur. The COVID-19 Common Control Room has never even once mentioned this in their daily news bulletin given to the media. Questions, all questions at the moment, but answers to these questions are important for it always helps for the people to know how ready is the State Government to tackle the second wave. Something much more will need to be done than closing the three Ima Keithels and restricting the opening of shops and imposing hefty fines on SOP violators.