TODAY -

The Covid contractors
- Imphal Times Editorial :: August 29 2020 -



With more than hundred and fifty government research agencies and pharma companies scrambling for a vaccine to combat the present Covid-19 scourge which have brought the world to its knees, there is hope on the horizon, but time is of the essence and no expert have been able to state with any amount of conviction or certainty the exact time such a vaccine could reach the market, if ever one is developed.

Meanwhile, the daily count of infections continues to rise gradually, and the state of Manipur is not exception to the unfortunate fact.

And yet despite the ongoing and increasing danger, it is clearly evident that a large number of the public have been neglecting the only known and proven preventive measures of social distancing and using of face masks in public places.

Compared to the time when the first Covid-19 positive patient was confirmed just a few months back, people have taken things too casually, and are even displaying defiant gestures and risking not only themselves but those around them to the contagion which had proven to create as much social and psychological damage as the virus itself, if not more.

Another worrying aspect of the present contagion that is emerging is that of the management- or rather mismanagement of the covid-19 positive patients in the state.

There have been an increase in reports of negligence and even downright dismissal of the grievances and complaints of these patients by the authorities entrusted to oversee their well being.

From lack of food to hygiene to concerns regarding total absence of manpower in various Quarantine centres in various parts of the state and even the Covid Care Centres housing positive patients.

The emerging unfortunate trend is in stark contrast to the convincing assurances of adequate facilities and arrangements made by the state government at the onset of the present contagion just a few months back.

If one would care to follow the developments regarding the arrangements and execution or implementation of the plans to combat Covid-19 in the state, one can clearly see a clear deviation from the declared plan of action.

Imphal Times have earlier reported outsourcing of procurement of vital testing kits which the department should have arranged by itself, which is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are reports of outsourcing arrangements for foods and nutrition, PPE kits and other aspects needed to keep the whole effort running smoothly.

The contract culture that is rampant in the state has finally caught up with even COVID-19.

While such outsourcing offering contract for various parties or individuals for various aspects or components required in the fight against Covid-19 is not necessarily a bad thing, the underhanded manner of carrying out these activities reeks of nepotism and favoritism with personal gain as a greater consideration rather than lending support to the effort and making the whole exercise fruitful.

If the state government is sincerely working to ease the burden and smoothen the administration of Covid-19 related activities with the sole objective of bringing about a positive result, it has to try and garner support for its action from the public, and only by gaining trust and goodwill of the public can such an objective be accomplished.

This is arguably the worst time for doling out contracts, especially in matters relating to the fight for the most uncertain contagion in the recent history of mankind.

The state government needs to draw up radical and sincere plan of action and not turn the present social uncertainties into opportunity for a few unscrupulous elements for personal gains.



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