Hill dists low on the vaccination chart Call of the Governor
Who is in, who is out and correspondingly heartburns, heartaches and joy and merry making on the other side. This and daily spike of Covid positive cases above the 300 mark accompanied by almost daily deaths due to the virus together go on to illustrate the present day Manipur. Contrasting pictures and so while for some family members it is all about waiting to hear on the daily update of the health status of their near and dear ones who have to be hospitalised after testing positive for Covid for others it could well be about canvassing for votes, calculating how well one is placed and how well the perceived rival is received by the voters. Plus put the hectic party hopping exercise by some intending candidates after being overlooked in the list of the chosen 60 or 40 or 20 of any political party, the celebratory mood in some over being included in the list of candidates and clearly this is how Manipur is, right now, at the moment. Nothing can be so paradoxical than a people caught up in election fever and in the midst of a global pandemic. Put the refusal or reluctance of quite a large number of people to get vaccinated against Covid and the script seems ready to make the absurd look believable and Manipur is clearly leaving nothing to chance to make this a reality. It is with a reason why Governor La Ganesan took pains to explain to religious leaders that vaccination and strictly adhering to Covid Appropriate Behaviour are the only means at hand to take the fight to the virus and the observation of the Governor came against the cold statistics of only 44.63 percent of the eligible population fully inoculated with the hill districts drastically pulling down the overall percentage and one gets a fair idea of how the call for vaccination has fallen on deaf ears to quite a large number of people. Religious leaders, particularly prominent members of the Church, do have quite an influence on the predominantly Christian population of the hill districts and it was only right that the Governor thought it fit to reach out to them. Difficult to say how involved is the Church in persuading the believers to go in for the vaccination shot, but nothing can be left to chance for the virus continues to infect and claim lives. And it is common knowledge how it is the unvaccinated who mostly need to be put on ventilator, meaning whose conditions take a critical turn and there should be every reason for all to line up for the vaccine shot.
If Church bodies and influential people from the hill districts can come together and appeal to the Election Commission of India to reschedule the first phase on February 27 as it falls on a Sunday, which is otherwise a day of worship for those following Christianity, there is no reason why these influential people cannot come together and urge the hill people to come out for their vaccination shots. A look at the statistics should tell the story of where some of the hill districts are placed on the vaccination table. Till January 30, 2022, only 44.63 percent of the total eligible population had received the second dose of the vaccine while only 58.47 percent had received the first dose. This statistics is the overall figure for Manipur and now go to the hill districts and the vaccination rate is abysmal. As repeatedly pointed out in The Sangai Express Kangpokpi and Ukhrul continue to lie at the bottom of the vaccination table with the former district registering only 13.91 percent of the eligible population having received their second dose. Ukhrul fares no better with just 19.83 percent having received their second dose. These statistics are worrying and as repeated here many times in the past, the Government ought to think of ways on how to draw the people out for their vaccination. The call of the Governor should be taken with the seriousness it deserves for what one is talking about here is a global pandemic.