Lessons from the first two waveVaccines : The shield
The important question is, what lessons have been learnt from the first and second wave of the global pandemic here in Manipur ? This question is important for it is a foregone conclusion that any preparation for the third wave should come from the lessons learnt from the first two wave. One thing that is clear is, the second wave is petering off in other parts of the country but here in Manipur, it seems to be peaking or has it already peaked ? Medical experts and epidemiologists should have a fair idea on where Manipur stands on the index of the second wave today and if this trend continues then Manipur may hit the peak in the third wave well after September/October, the period that has been given when the virus is expected to be at its most virulent and deadly form in other parts of the country. It is still not very clear which segment of the population would be hit the hardest with one school of thought under the belief that it will be children while another believes that there is nothing substantive to back this prognosis. Whatever the case, one thing that is most likely is the Delta Plus variant of the latest mutated coronavirus hitting the country in the third wave and if this is the case, then Manipur will also surely come under attack from this variant too. How much does the State Government know about this latest mutated form of the coronavirus ? Or more importantly what efforts are being made to study or understand the uniqueness of the new variant. Understanding the nature or behaviour of the latest variant is what the situation demands ahead of the third wave, for even as Manipur is reeling under the second wave, no chances can be taken. Now is the time to start working ahead of the third wave, for Manipur certainly afford to be caught on the wrong foot. The people too need to understand the situation and come to the realisation that while the talk right now is about ‘likely third wave’, the word ‘likely’ may be dropped sooner than later.
The second wave continues to take its toll and the number of daily infections continue to be well above the 500 mark. Deaths too continue to be in double digit with a break of a day or two thrown in between, but still the daily death toll has never gone below 5 in the month of June. The positivity rate too continues to be in double digit, way above the 5 percent mark, recommended by the World Health Organisation as the figure when one may start thinking about gradually opening up. It is against this reality that the State Government will have to gear up for the third wave, which is more likely than a possibility. Apart from a Covid Care Centre opened at Canchipur for children some time back, what other steps has the State Government taken up ahead of the third wave ? If the prognosis that children may be the prime target in the next wave of the pandemic turns out true then steps would have to be taken well ahead of time. Vaccination. This is perhaps what is most needed for the people and the Government may need to explore all possible ways to encourage the people to come out and get their vaccination shots.