TODAY -

Night curfew to combat COVID-19 : Manipur sleeps early
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 30 2020 -



Night curfew on, ironically in a place where there is no night life at all.

This is the State Government coming out with another of its grand plan to rein in the virus which seems to be running amok amongst the people now.

Never mind that no thoughts were ever given when hectic campaigns were on for the by elections to the five Assembly Constituencies just some days back.

With the grim reality staring the people on the face, the People's Task Force for COVID-19 has also come out and urged the State Government to impose a health emergency.

Not very clear what a health emergency would exactly entail, but it could well mean ramping up combat measures to face the onslaught of the virus head-on.

Night curfew in force all over the State and on the other hand a call for a health emergency and the two approaches may be seen to be in sync with the grim reality that Manipur finds itself in today.

Already 273 people have died after contracting COVID-19 and the total number of positive cases stands at 24,749.

The figure may appear small when compared with other States like Maharashtra or even Assam, but remember Manipur is a small place with a population of only about 30 lakhs or so and more than 24 thousand people testing positive out of 30 lakhs is grim by any standard.

It is also clear that the Government is not very clear which way to go forward to check the spread of the virus and this is perhaps best exemplified by the recent by elections to the five Assembly Constituencies.

The interesting question is whether night curfew is the answer to combat the virus.

Remember Manipur literally has no night life.

Life comes to a standstill after the clock strikes 7 or 8 and this is all the more true during Winter.

So is night curfew to keep the people confined in their homes a logical step, is the question that may well be raised.

Wear face mask while stepping out. Maintain social distancing. Keep away from big crowds.

These are the SOPs as spelt out by the World Health Organisation and championed by the Indian Council of Medical Research to break the chain.

All fine and points which should be noted and followed by the people.

The State Government has also been cracking down on those who violate the SOPs, especially those found moving around without their face mask and imposing fines with reports of how much has been collected as fines publicised daily.

No doubt this is a good measure to make the people fall in line, yet the very fact that many continue to be pulled up for not wearing face mask and not maintaining social distancing should have given enough food for thought to the Government to see if there is something missing.

Wear face mask is a directive that sounds simple to follow, but how about explaining in detail to the people the benefits of keeping one's mouth and nose covered during this pandemic?

Why not give detailed explanations to the people on the benefits of wearing a face mask?

How about the other SOPs such as maintaining social distancing?

What are the benefits of maintaining physical distance?

These are points which need to be explained in detail to the people.

It is the failure to explain this in detail that so many sat cheek by jowl during the campaigning for the by elections to the five Assembly Constituencies.

Let the Health Department draw up the guidelines in terms that people will understand and let it be publicised and circulated widely.



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