Is the total curfew working ? Study the statistics
Not pressing the alarm button but it is more than clear that the 10 days total curfew imposed since July 18 has not worked. The statistics should tell its own story. From July 18, the day the total curfew came into force, till July 26, the number of infection is 9797. This works out to 1088.55 infection per day. The number of deaths due to the virus during the same period is 122. This works out to 13.55 deaths per day. It should also be kept in mind that the highest daily positivity rate in June and July has also been recorded on July 26 with 20.2 percent. In other words this means that for every 100 person tested for the virus, 20.2 person tested positive. Some may hold the view that things could have been worse if the total curfew was not imposed, but then remember Manipur has been under containment from April 29 and from there under different terms such as curfew and now total curfew. Something is missing and it is a pity that till date no one seems to have come close to identifying or narrowing down on what is it that is being missed. The Sangai Express has already had its say on the home isolation model for days now and this still needs a relook. It would also be prudent for the Government and the Health Department to seriously study whether the practise of releasing infected persons from either the CCCs, CHICS and even hospitals without conducting a second test on the presumption that after 14 days of keeping them under strict quarantine means they have recovered. The rider that they should further undergo home quarantine is there, no doubt, but how many actually follow this and what follow up steps are there to see if they are sticking to the protocols ? Keeping an infected person under quarantine in one of the Covid Centres is fine, but surely the 14 days period cannot be taken to mean that they can no longer transmit the virus as no one is sure if the body system has finally and totally got rid of the virus. What if those who have finished the 14 days quarantine period are asymptomatic, meaning showing no signs of sickness but still carrying the virus ? This is a serious question that needs an immediate and serious study.
To come to the mass testing being conducted all over the place. This is what the doctor had prescribed from the beginning of the first wave but now that this has been taken up it should be noted. However it would do good for the Government to come to terms with the reality that positive cases are being detected enmasse while some may return negative results. Those found positive may be taken to a CCC or CHIC but it is extremely important for those who returned negative results to undergo yet another test via the RT-PCR, given that it is RAT which is used during the mass testing programmes. And RAT is known to return false negatives in the range of 30 to 40 percent. The Government cannot afford to take chances. This is the bottomline, for the longer the virus is allowed to run free, the longer would be the burden on the Government. The people may also be asked to see if it is feasible for them to bear the expenses of undergoing the test via the RT-PCR. For those who cannot bear the expenses, let the expenses be on the Government. The Government and the people as a whole cannot afford to take chances and Manipur is going through the peak of the second wave which has already taken a heavy toll in other parts of the country. A look at the immediate past of the others will also help.