Scaling new peaks in second wave Pull up the errant docs

Manipur has definitely scaled new peaks during the second wave of the pandemic, having recorded as high as 20 deaths on a single day and returning figures of 726 new cases, again on a single day. The death toll now stands at 552 and in the last few days, the number of new cases has always been above the 400 mark. The figure is high and how severely has the second wave of the virus hit Manipur may be surmised from the fact that the State presently has more than 5,500 active cases with the recovery rate having declined to 83.76 percent. It is true that not all of them would need hospitalisation but the very fact that doctors have called for early hospitalisation reflects how life threatening the new variant of the virus is. And it is against this scary reality that reports have come in of some doctors who have just refused to report for duty after they were transferred to Ukhrul District Hospital. As reported in The Sangai Express, a legal notice has already been served to the recalcitrant doctors after a social activist took up the case and this is where one is left wondering what the Health Department has been doing all this while. Of the six doctors on whom legal notice has been served, five of them were transferred on April 12 this year. The transfer order of the other one was issued on January 27, again this year. Time for the State Government to wake up to the ugly reality and accordingly take action as it deems fit, for this is not any ordinary time. Manipur, like the rest of the country is facing the second wave of the pandemic and when there is extreme pressure on the health system, refusing to join duty will amount to criminal negligence. The case of the six doctors is something which has come to the public domain, thanks to the social activist and the media which took the extra step to ensure that  nothing is left wanting, but how about other such cases, which may not have come to the notice of the public ? The Health Department needs to act fast and sternly too, for this is not the time for anyone to be lax. If doctors can be this negligent at such a time as the pandemic than one shudders to think how they must be dispensing with their duty during more congenial days.
Crack the whip. Let everyone know that there is a Government in place and this is the right time. Strong action taken now will also ring out the message that the Government means business and no one can expect free lunches topped up with a paid vacation ! This is the time to ring out this message. Apart from cracking the whip against errant doctors it would do good for the Government and the people, if the stock of the vaccines available for people who want to get the shot can be made public. While it is encouraging to note that the Government has set aside 7,500 vials for vaccinating people in the age group of 18 to 44, it will help that much more if the Government spells out when the next consignment of the vaccine is expected. The new variant of the virus does not spare the youngsters and this is something which can easily be known from the new cases updated daily. Vaccination for all, is the need of the hour, for a study has projected that the next hotspot could well be the North East region and this a cause for worry. Already Meghalaya has begun to record a sharp rise in the number of new cases as well as deaths. Assam is already reporting more than 4000 new cases daily in the last couple of days and it is with a reason why the Government of Nagaland has gone ahead and imposed a weeklong lockdown. It is also disturbing to note that Manipur is high up there on the Covid list in the North East region, after Assam and Tripura and this is all the more reason for everyone to take utmost care. Wear the face mask properly.