Spell out number of tests in each district Test, trace, treat
The statistics is disturbing and there is no sign that the transmission chain has been broken. It is not only the statistics per se that is worrying and a cause of concern, but also the hugely fluctuating report from some of the hill districts. This is a point which has already been referred to here on an earlier commentary, and to repeat, it would help so much more if reports on the number of tests conducted in each district can be given for public consumption. This way one can work out the daily positivity rate in each district and get a clearer picture on how widespread the virus is or could be. For example, some hill districts such as Pherzawl, Tengnoupal, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul and Senapati to a certain extent have been reporting low positive cases and on some days none at all. This is good, but it would help so much more to know whether the ‘nil’ results on some days came about despite tests being conducted or otherwise. This is a point which everyone here in Manipur ought to know. What are the number of tests conducted weekly or daily in these districts ? Spelling this out will help clear the picture on whether the virus is not so widespread in these districts or whether cases have not been detected due to low testing, which could be due to poor turn out of people. Either way people need to know the status on the number of tests conducted in some of these hill districts. For example on August 9, the number of positive cases detected at Ukhrul was just 2. On August 10, there was a slight increase with 7 more testing positive and on August 11 it shot up to 20 new cases and on August 12 the number of new cases was 16. Pherzawl has been reporting low cases right throughout but it cannot be helped but ask how many tests were conducted when it returned 0 cases on August 9, 3 on August 10, 9 on August 11 and again 0 on August 12. It is the same thing with Tengnoupal with no new cases on August 9, 2 on August 10, 6 on August 11 and 1 on August 12. The absolute number by itself in these districts is encouraging, but in the absence of any information on the number of tests conducted it would be dicey to draw any conclusion.
This is where one sees a loophole in the whole exercise taken up to take the fight to the virus. An ill informed citizenry can never be expected to come out tops against the virus which has already taken a heavy toll. Spell out the number of tests conducted in the districts which have been reporting extremely low number of new infection and only then can one have a well rounded information on the status of the spread of the virus. At the same time it is disturbing to note that despite the days of restrictions, curfew and containment measures taken up, the virus continues to run riot. In the month of August alone, that is till the 12th of this month, Manipur recorded a total of 127 deaths. This is besides the 8208 new cases added to the cumulative figure of 1,06,707. Moreover the average positivity rate during the same period is 13.89 percent. Disturbing figures and all pointers to the fact that August has not seen much improvement from July. In the first 12 days of July, the State saw 137 deaths and 8831 new cases with the positivity rate at 14.63 percent. It was during the total curfew period from July 18 to July 27 that the State witnessed a huge surge in the number of cases and positivity rate at 10,962 and 17.38 percent respectively. The number could have been higher if the restrictions were not imposed is one line of thought that may be bandied while on the other hand, it may be argued that the restrictions did not help in containing the spread of the virus.