Food for thought on home isolationLook at Maharastra

    26-May-2021
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Seven is certainly not the age to die and likewise the many who were in their late 30s and 40s and 50s and even 60s who have fallen prey to COVID-19 during the second wave of the virus. On May 25, Manipur rewrote yet another ‘highest positive cases in a single day’ with 824 along with 15 deaths. Racing to the four figure mark and the more scary part is whether Manipur has reached its peak or not, with many experts going on record to state that the North East is the next region for the virus to run rampant. Already Manipur is high up there on the Covid ladder, in so far as the North East States are concerned, much like during the first wave. The important question is whether any lessons were indeed learnt from the first wave or not. The unfolding scenario tells its own story for Manipur is today seen racing against time to set up oxygen plants, when the virus is already playing havoc here, spreading and claiming lives at will. The death of the seven year old child is perhaps the best time for the Government to take another serious, very serious look at how it has been tackling the spread of the virus. The Sangai Express has already spoken its stand against the continuing home isolation practice, not only just now, but when the first wave struck the State and the Government toyed with the idea of letting all the returnees head straight for home. That better sense prevailed and institutional quarantine centres were set up for the returnees to first stay for a certain period is there for all to see and even today the Government will need to seriously take a relook at the options offered to the infected to stay in home isolation. There is a reason why Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya has gone on record to state that the Government there is seriously considering doing away with the practise of home isolation. It is also very important for the Government at Imphal to note that the Government of Maharastra has decided to disallow home isolation model at 18 districts in that State, to check the spread of the virus.
Coming  back to the death of the child, it is not at all likely that the parents and elders of the family would have allowed her to move freely outside the homestead. In all likelihood, the child got infected from a family member who could move around more freely. And more importantly what if any of the family members were under home isolation ? This is a question which the Government should seriously think over else the virus will continue to exact a heavy toll. Maharastra has decided to do  away with the home isolation model in some districts even as there has been a decrease in the spread of the disease there and in other parts of the country and to continue with this, when the spread is on the ascendency here may amount to opening the door to the virus. For this the Government will need to reactivate the earlier Covid Care Centres, which were there during the first wave of the pandemic. Or if the Centres are still there then more will need to be opened. Testing will need to be ramped up for testing around 3,500 and 4,000 persons per day may not exactly reflect the spread of the virus. As pointed out here many times, the people too need to reciprocate and demonstrate that they too have a bounden duty to help tackle the virus. Disturbing it is that despite the number of deaths and positive cases seen everyday, the number of people being pulled up for violating the SOPs continues unabated. How can people be so insensitive ?