Back to the spike in three figures A high of 116 cases

The number is worrying. A high of 116 cases, the highest after more than two months, and it is disturbingly reminiscent of 2021 when new cases started surging during the second wave after a brief lull. Like last year, there has been a lull with the daily count having dropped below the three figure mark, but it now looks like Manipur will have to brace itself up for the third wave, which seems to be knocking on the door. The third wave is something which experts had predicted a long time back and it is on in different parts of the country with the Omicron variant spreading fast and Kerala, Maharashtra and Delhi witnessing a sharp rise and pushing the daily cases across the country to well above the 1 lakh mark. As stated many times here earlier, Manipur cannot remain an island and when the virus starts running riot in different parts of the country, the virus is sure to receive a fresh shot in the arm and start infecting at will here too. The coming Assembly election has only made things more dicey, and it is beyond doubt that SOPs will undoubtedly be violated in the numerous election related meetings that are bound to be held across the sixty Assembly Constituencies. Manipur also has the distinction of being the first amongst the North East State to report the Omicron variant when a returnee from Tanzania tested positive for the new variant on December 27 last year. Samples of some persons who had come into contact with the returnee were reportedly sent for genome sequencing to verify whether they had contracted the extremely contagious Omicron variant, and the story seems to have ended there with no further inputs from the authority concerned. It is with this sense of uncertainty and anxiety that Manipur, like the rest of the world, stepped into the year 2022 and one is left wondering what steps have been taken up to face any eventuality in case the Omicron variant starts spreading as it has done in other parts of the country.
A high of 116 new cases, reported on January 11, and one wonders if there is any compulsive need to send any of the positive samples for genome sequencing to work out the virus variant. In case of a large scale infection by the new variant, can the existing health infrastructure cope with the new surge ? This is a point which cannot be overlooked. How about the people ? Are the people still in a state of complacency triggered during the period of lull ? Or have they started sticking to the prescribed SOPs in the wake of the detection of one Omicron case ? As repeatedly maintained, the lull should not be taken to mean that the virus has been reined in. It is still out there, ready to spread, infect and at times kill. This should be more than enough for the people to be on the vigil and not throw caution to the wind. With the State having opened up, the market places are now teeming with activities but remember the place has opened up not because the virus has been tamed, but solely due to economic reasons. Opening up should not mean that the people can take the virus easily. The new normal should now become a part and parcel of how people conduct themselves and this should not be such a tall order to follow.