Second wave spreading swiftly
20,000 to 1 lakh in 25 days !
If this does not jolt the senses of the people then nothing else will. The second surge of the pandemic is much faster and correspondingly this could mean more fatalities. Take a look at the harsh reality. In just 25 days, the country crossed the one lakh milestone on April 5 from 20,000 infection. Manipur may be reporting daily infection rate in single digits at the moment, but this should not lull anyone into a false sense of complacency for geography is no impediment to the virus, as witnessed and experienced in 2020 when from a single positive case on March 24 it has today shot up to nearly 30 thousand infected cases. The virus did not originate in India much less in Manipur, but it is today going rampant in other parts of the country, and the State cannot be immune to it. Assam may see an upsurge after the Assembly elections there, meaning the second wave could well be knocking at the doors of Manipur soon. The grim reality should be viewed and understood in the backdrop of the manner in which many people have trashed Covid appropriate behaviour, but as pointed out here many times it should not be forgotten that the virus is still out there, ready to infect anyone. It is not for nothing why the term, ‘New Normal’ gained so much currency in 2020 and now with the second surge on in many parts of the country, its relevance will become more and more clear. Other than urging the people to abide by the Covid appropriate behaviour, the Government will need to ramp up the inoculation drive and the screening process at the entry points to the State and not only the airport. This is where the meeting of the State Covid Task Force and the State Steering Committee for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration held on April 5 with the Chief Secretary in the chair gains importance. Setting up a testing shed at the BT Airport is a repeat of what was done when the Covid pandemic was at its peak last year and the Government will need to look beyond the air passengers and see how people coming to the State by road may be screened.
Ramp up screening, ramp up inoculation drive and come down more heavy on those who violate the Covid appropriate behaviour in public places. Make the fines imposed on the violators more hefty. Make it clear that the people cannot be put at risk due to the wayward behaviour of some delinquents, who just refuse to listen to reasoning. These are some of the steps that the Government may take up. No one should take the situation for granted. Remember the statistics. The virus has already claimed more than 300 lives, infected close to 30 thousand people, stretched the health care system to its limit and robbed the earning avenues of many more. Irresponsible behaviour of some can endanger everyone and this is something which should not be lost on anyone. What is it so hard to wear the face mask in public places ? This question is relevant in the backdrop of the fact that even today many continue to be pulled up by the police for not adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour. In many ways the virus is a grim reminder of the responsibility of the people in ensuring that one’s behaviour does not endanger the people at large. The call for Covid appropriate behaviour is a test of discipline of the people for an error in behaviour in one individual can expose many others more to the virus.