TODAY -

Lockdown is not the ultimate remedy: RPF
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 24 2020: The proscribed RPF has categorically stated that lockdown is not the ultimate remedy or solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting that the lockdown imposed all over India has completed almost two months, a statement issued by RPF's Publicity Secretary Roben Khuman questioned how long the poor masses would be kept under lockdown.

While putting in place all possible health care and containment measures, countries like South Korea, Japan, Spain, Singapore, Cuba and Cambodia etc have relaxed the lockdown and thus ameliorated the woes of people.

India too has relaxed the lockdown for daily essential activities even in red zones, the outfit noted while questioning the conspicuous absence of any such relaxation in Manipur.

If one sees India's phase 4 lockdown guidelines, most activities/sectors have been exempted from the lockdown except aviation, metro service, mall, school, college, university and logistics.

Such relaxation is a common policy of most countries because the World Health Organisation (WHO) has already declared that COVID-19 would not go away soon and people should learn to live with it, the outfit remarked.

Poor farmers and workers have been reeling under extreme misery on account of the lockdown.

Had the Government of Manipur planned its COVID-19 strategy meticulously, people's worry and misery could have been reduced to a great extent because the State was a green zone.

Manipuri people coming back to the State from different parts of India through Mao and Jiribam have been facing lots of difficulties as they have not been properly tested nor accommodated in proper quarantine centres.

It is an inescapable duty of the Government to bring back stranded Manipuris but it is a matter of grave concern that the stranded people were brought in without any preparation.

All the returnees should be accommodated in well-equipped quarantine centres and all of them should be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible otherwise Manipur may find itself in the red zone, the outfit cautioned.

Given this situation, it would be wrong to assume the lockdown as the ultimate means for containing COVID-19, it asserted.

Keeping the people under complete lockdown for a protracted period would amount to destroying their work culture.

Rich people and Government employees enjoying fat salaries feel the adverse impacts of the lockdown on a very lesser degree as compared to people working in unorganised sector, small and medium industries, daily wage earners, vegetable vendors etc.

Even well-established private schools have not been paying salaries to teachers in the name of the lockdown.

At the same time, students from hill and rural areas staying in rented rooms at Imphal have been facing a very difficult situation as they are unable to pay rents, the outfit said.

With 131,423 COVID-19 positive cases till 7 am of May 24, India had surpassed China which is a clear indication that the lockdown is not effective in combating the pandemic, it asserted.

COVID-19 positive cases has been rising continuously in India because the Government of India is unable to follow the WHO's guideline of 'tracing, isolation and treatment'.

Noting that all the positive cases of Manipur are people who came back to the State from different parts of India and abroad, the outfit asserted that COVID-19 can be contained in the State by quarantining, isolating and testing the returnees.

The situation arising out of not providing adequate number of PPE and hand gloves to doctors and nurses working at quarantine centres and utilisation of untrained volunteers at such centres is rather frightening.

A sound health policy and giving full attention to all returnees are what are needed to save Manipur from being transformed into red zone from green zone, not the lockdown, the outfit asserted.

A vast majority of the Manipuri people have been facing a very hard time and many of them have been starving silently because Manipuri people, by nature, hate begging more than anything.

Manipuri people should take up precautionary measures in advance against possible famine and deprivation of tens of thousands of students of formal education as an outcome of the protracted lockdown.

"It's time to ponder over the sources and causes of all our misery and difficulties.

It is the perfect opportunity to take a collective stand to determine our own future instead of letting outsiders determine our fate", the outfit added.


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