Global spike of Covid cases Vaccination is key

    04-Jan-2023
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Consistent pattern since COVID-19 vaccine became available-death rates much higher in unvaccinated compared to vaccinated and boosted individuals...Unboosted individuals are 18 times more likely to die if Covid positive compared to those who recently received a bivalent (omicron) booster. This is not The Sangai Express underlining the importance of getting inoculated in the face of the pandemic topped off with the current surge in some countries including China, Japan, South Korea and USA, but former chief scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Soumya Swaminathan in a tweet. The answer to deal with the pandemic then lies in getting oneself vaccinated and one wonders why the question of vaccine hesitancy should arise in this age of information and when everyone seems to know what is going on in the world. As the former chief scientist of WHO has pointed out, death is much more likely amongst people who are yet to be vaccinated and added the ‘unboosted or those who have not taken the precautionary dose.’  With the virus lying low and with Manipur not having reported any new case in the last few days, save on January 1, 2023 when one person tested positive, the COVID-19 Common Control Room has also been taking things a little ‘easy’ as the daily information given to the media misses out some important points. There is now no update on the districtwise percentage of the eligible population having received the vaccine and this has been the ‘norm’ for the last few days and hereby hangs a tale. The tale should be understood within the prism of the fact that random testing of at least 2 percent of the people arriving from abroad has been put into practise across the country. As stated, new cases are on the rise in some countries and one here is reminded of those days before the virus landed here at Manipur and how it spread and claimed over 2000 lives in the course of a little over two years. The question is, given this fact, this background, can Manipur afford to go it easy ? The answer should be obvious to everyone. Manipur has already experienced the pain and horror of the pandemic, especially during the second wave when the Delta variant of the virus struck and infected left, right and centre and snuffed out a number of precious lives. Manipur should not take chances and keeping the people informed with key inputs and this is one way of demonstrating that the Government is serious. However when the media and hence the people are not kept updated on the districtwise percentage of the folks who have taken the vaccine then the loophole becomes glaring.  
This is obviously not the way how the global pandemic should be faced. Keep the people informed. Moreover has any lesson been learnt from the first and second wave of the pandemic ? Has any thought been given on how to make the contact tracing exercise more effective or is it going to be the same thing, if and once the BF.7 variant of the virus lands here ? The past should be the lesson. After the pandemic broke out at Wuhan in China at the latter end of 2019, it did not take long to spread across the world including India and Manipur. Now here is a variant which is reported to be much more infectious, in fact more than 10 times infectious than the other variants and given this, it should not take that long for the latest variant to land here at Manipur. Steps should be taken up now, before it is too late and by this, the Government will need more than just readying the hospitals but also keep a close watch at all the entry points. Humans are the carriers of the virus and this is a point that should not be lost on anyone. It is obvious that vaccination is one answer to the pandemic, and while the new variant is believed to be able to break through the barriers put up by the vaccine, it should be obvious that getting vaccinated goes a long way in saving the lives of the infected people. This is not The Sangai Express saying this, but has come straight from a former scientist of WHO. Give more thrust to get the people vaccinated and yes the precautionary dose as well. It always pays to be on the ready and not be caught off guard. The time to get ready is now.