TODAY -

Putting tighter restrictions in place : Wily, cunning virusy
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 31, 2021 -



First Omicron variant detected on December 27, not only in Manipur but in the entire North East region.

Tighter restrictions announced after more than 24 hours, that is on December 29.

Omicron is highly contagious, at least three times more so than the earlier variants, particularly Delta, and one wonders why a precious 24 hours lapsed before the State Executive Committee of the Disaster Management Authority deemed it fit to come out with the new restrictions only on December 29.

Seems more like a case of 'better late than never' but it stands that the State Government and the people cannot be more careful than now.

Milder variant is the report that has been received but remember WHO has already gone ahead to announce that it is too early to say that.

More than enough indication that the scientific world is still grappling with the emergence of the new variant and to be sure it will take time to fully understand how the virus in its latest avatar will behave once it infects someone.

Underlines the point that the virus has always been one step ahead of mankind and it is tricky, making it all that more dangerous.

According to the Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management Authority, restrictions have been placed on musical dos (concerts), Thabal Chongba, celebratory feasts, large gathering of people in enclosed areas or indoor halls and night curfew from 9 pm to 4 am, with essential services and medical emergency being exempted from the purview of the curfew.

Another variant, another matter of concern but the reality is, indications are that the pandemic will not go away that easily.

Mankind will have to learn to live with the virus, just like how the world has been coping and living with the seasonal flu and the common cold.

The one big and significant difference being that Covid is highly transmissible and can be fatal.

This is where people will have to learn and live with the understanding of the new normal.

Not that difficult to stick to the commandments laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the matter of concern is why so many are still reluctant to stick to the dos and don'ts laid down by the experts, people who know.

With Omicron spreading fast and wide all over the world, including India, it is now more than obvious that the third wave which experts have been predicting wilt ride on this variant.

Manipur should be ready for this but the important question is how seriously have the people taken the possible threat posed by the new variant.

Given that Omicron spreads at least three times faster than the earlier variants known, the health system can come under severe strain.

With reports coming in that the man found infected with Omicron did come into contact with others, the possibility of the said strain spreading to others cannot be ruled out.

At the moment samples of some suspected persons have been sent for genome sequencing and one wonders how the people and the State would respond if any of them return positive for the new variant.

Can the existing health infrastructure be able to absorb the newly infected patients or will the State Government continue to take comfort in the belief that Omicron is milder and hence large number of people may not need hospitalisation?

Either way the call is for all to adapt to the new normal.

It should not be such a tall order for all to always wear the face mask while stepping out, avoid large crowd and wash one's hand regularly with soap and water or with a hand sanitiser.



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