The truth : Critical phaseHigh positivity rate
Let it be very clear. Situation is far from normal. Let the excessively positive minded persons say whatever they want but the fact remains that the situation is still very dicey and things can only get worse if one lowers one’s guard under the false belief that situation has improved. This is not the time to look only at the absolute numbers but take a look at the positivity rate. 15 people testing positive should not be understood only as 15 more positive cases, but take a look at how many were tested to detect the 15 positive cases. If 15 returned positive results out of 1000 or 2000 people tested then it will not be a cause of grave concern, but 15 out of 100 is definitely a cause of concern. Let this be very clear to the readers. And Manipur is going through this period of high positivity rate right now. ‘The higher the percent positive is, the more concerning it is. As rule of thumb, however, one threshold for the percent positive being “too high” is 5 percent. For example, the World Health Organisation in May recommended that the percent positive remain below 5 pc for at least two weeks before Governments consider reopening. If we are successful in bringing coronavirus transmission under control, this threshold might be lowered over time. To further relax social restrictions and allow very large gatherings or meetings of people travelling from many different areas, for example, we would want a lower threshold.” This was the John Hopkins School of Public Health and surely they would not have been shooting in the dark when they underlined the 5 percent mark set by WHO. And Manipur has been recording above the 5 percent mark all throughout the month of June in the positivity rate and this is a fact that should not be overshadowed by the absolute figure, which otherwise may appear low as on June 21 when Manipur recorded just 353 new positive cases.
For the past five days, Manipur has been recording double digit positivity rate daily and this should more than say how widespread the virus has been. On June 18 the positivity rate was 10.32 percent, 10.08 percent on June 19, 11.3 percent on June 20, 15.54 percent on June 21 and 12 percent on June 22 ! Statistics don’t lie and the more faithfully these statistics are digested, the more effective would be the measures taken up to counter the spread of the virus. Given that there is as yet no drugs to treat the disease, the best option before the people is to religiously follow the SOPs laid down by WHO, ICMR and enforced by the State Government. Other than this, do away with all the misgivings and get the vaccine shot when one’s turn comes. As noted earlier here, the Government may need to reach out to the various civil society organisations and enlist their help and co-operation in convincing the people to come out and get their vaccination jabs without suspicion. Publicise the findings on the benefits of receiving the vaccines. The people too need to co-operate and not indulge in any campaign that may just dissuade the people from getting their vaccination shots.