Disturbing rise of positive cases Ramp up contact tracing
Something, somewhere is terribly wrong if the daily count, both in terms of the absolute number as well as the positivity rate, is any indication. This despite the fact that curfew, containment, restrictions, whatever term one gives it, has been in force since April 29. It is now July and the number of daily new infections continues to be above the 500 mark with the daily positivity rate above 10 percent. The daily death count too has been in double digits for the past many days now and it was for this very reason why the Centre had first deputed a team here, followed by a written communication complete with all the instructions/suggestions from the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the State’s Chief Secretary. Containment measures. This was one point prominently mentioned in the intimation from the Centre and this is where the State Government would need to seriously study if all the prescribed norms are being followed or not. Are the family members of an infected person and the immediate neighbours kept in touch with the authority concerned ? How about the family unit of a person who has opted to go in for home isolation on being tested positive for the virus ? Moreover is the homestead of anyone opting for home isolation sincerely studied to see whether the sleeping arrangement, the toilet, the entrance way etc are suited for someone infected with the highly contagious virus suitable to house such an inmate ? Or is permission granted at the decision of the infected person only ? This question is important for containment measures are directly linked to this question. Is the homestead suited to keep an infected person effectively isolated, is a question which everyone must answer truthfully and sincerely. Again this question is directly linked to the arrangements being made at the different Covid Care Centres. Questions which have already been raised before, but a repeat is necessary given that the Centre has also raised the same point. How are inmates supplied their daily ration such as food ? These are all questions that need to be studied strictly for what one is dealing with here is a highly contagious strain of the virus, so much so that using the face mask even inside one’s own house has been strongly recommended.
Another point that stood out prominently is the question of contact tracing. How judiciously is the exercise of contact tracing taken up ? Ask anyone who has recovered from the infection and one will get a fair idea. The State Government will need to do more than issue a one line statement, ‘containment and contact tracing measures have been taken up’ in their daily statements on Covid to the media. As stated earlier, the Government should reach out to all the sixty MLAs irrespective of party affiliations. It was just some time back that ex-members of the Imphal Municipal Corporation had asked the State Government to utilise their service in the fight against the pandemic. So far no one knows if the Government has responded to the offer by the Corporators and Ward Members, but this is something which should be capitalised upon. The numbers tell their own story and this has to be accepted. The Government will also need to do something more to make people come out for their vaccination jabs. This is where the role of the elected members, whether from the Assembly or District Councils or Municipalities or Zilla Parishads will come in handy. Time to reach out to all for the fight against Covid should be the responsibility of everyone and not just the Government.