Call for new normal goes for a big toss as caution thrown to the wind


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jul 14: Even as Covid-19 positive cases have been surging rapidly in the State, Covid protocols and guidelines have gone for a toss in public places, including Government offices and markets.
The call for the new normal has obviously found little or no takers.
Meanwhile, a high ranking official of the State Health Department maintained that the protocols and guidelines issued by the department in the past are still in operation or applicable till today.
However, many staff in Government offices and the common people were found flouting all the Covid SOPs and protocols when this reporter made a random survey at some of the Government offices and markets.
Many shopkeepers and buyers in markets like Khwairamband Keithel and Singjamei Keithel were not wearing masks, in addition to not maintaining social distance at all.
The case is similar to some of the complexes in Government offices where the staff were sitting together without wearing masks and flouting social distancing norms.
Many among the commuters on roads too do not bother to wear face masks.
Like during the days when Covid cases subsided to the marginal level, passengers travelling in public transportations were sitting/standing shoulder to shoulder.
On the other hand, there is a high possibility of spiralling Covid positive cases in rural and semi-urban areas as the locals and villagers have generally lowered their guard.
Flouting of Covid norms are observed everywhere in these areas, be it at home, shops or hotels.      
When asked about the stratagem to curb the Covid surge in the State, State Surveillance Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Directorate of Health Services, Dr N Somorjit conveyed that the same SOPs and guidelines for COVID which were issued in the past are still valid till today.
Expressing concern with the rising Covid cases in the State, Somorjit appealed to all to adhere to the guidelines and protocols issued by the Government.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Sapam Ranjan has urged all the citizens in the State whose ages are between 18 and 59 to get vaccinated during the free Covid vaccination programme which will be rolled out at all Government health care setups from tomorrow.
He was speaking at a felicitation function held at the conference hall of Family Welfare Services, BT Road, in his honour.
Expressing disappointment over the State’s low vaccination rate, even for the first dose, the Health Minister went on to state that the Government will soon launch an intense drive for Covid vaccination in the State.
Citing closure of schools as a timely measure to contain Covid surge, Ranjan claimed that the State Government has taken up all possible measures to curb the rise in positivity rate in the State.
Stressing on the importance of maintaining suitable demographic data and pattern, he said that such records are vital for proper planning and governance of the State Government.
He pointed out that demography does not necessarily mean counting only the population, but also finding out precisely its pattern and the manner of population growth.
While asking the Demographic Evaluation Cell of the Social Welfare Department to work properly in this regard, Ranjan also underscored the importance of working together between the Health Department and Family Welfare Department in some areas.
He added that such concerted efforts of the two departments will bring desirable results and achieve the goals of many programmes and schemes.
The Minister also asked the officials and staff of the Health and Family Welfare Departments to coordinate and make routine immunization programmes effective in the State.
Assuring that he will work with dedication for the betterment of the Family Welfare Department and solve all the problems of the department, the Health Minister asked the department staff to work sincerely for the State.
Director in-charge of Family Welfare Dr N Dihe Mao, State Immunization Officer Dr Manihar and many other officials and staff of the department also took part in the function.