TODAY -

Ultimate battle against virus
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: July 19, 2021 -



OTHER than stringent enforcement of the 10-day curfew, it seems that there are no other options left for the government of Manipur to fight and win the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

With curfew already underway, the government must persist with the on-going testing and vaccination drives in virus affected and safe zones respectively along with ensuring that the streets and institutions are made off-limit to unauthorised people, for the fight against the pandemic has to be multi-pronged.

If imposition of the curfew is not equilibrated with intensive contact tracing or inoculating the vulnerable citizens, then the intention to lock up the masses at homes or in the localities would only breed more vectors and not stabilise the crisis situation.

Nevertheless, lockdown; a terminology which is no more in vogue in India after its nationwide imposition at the start of the first wave drew flak for bringing more misfortune on the poor people, the migrant workers in particular due to lack of follow-up palliative measures; or any restrictive step is considered the best means to contain the infectious disease.

Across the world, lockdowns had been imposed to fight the invisible enemy and many countries succeeded in ensuring the health crisis did not go out of hands.

The success stories in countries or cities worst hit by the pandemic, however, were centred on impartial implementation of the restrictive orders as could be comprehended from the law enforcement agencies in some countries not sparing even law makers, celebrities, close aides of prominent public figures, etc., in case they were found flouting the prescribed guidelines.

Thus, the real purpose and essence of lockdown or curfew should be based on the principle of making everybody follow the rules rather than pulling up only the un-influential individuals.

For reasons best known to the authorities, curfew and containment measures imposed earlier neither made any significant difference to the movement of people nor in bringing down the number of infections in some of the virus hotspot districts.

Though there were reports of security teams deployed at strategic locations in Imphal areas and some outlying districts stopping, checking and penalising SOP violators almost all these perpetrators were two-wheel riders, who can't justify the reason for venturing out of homes while those zipping across in high-end vehicles seldom drew the attention of the policemen.

Such selective targeting ofSOP violators is certain to compel one to suspect that the law enforcing personnel were under pressure not to question those individuals moving about in expensive four-wheelers.

It is equally intriguing why the authorities had to wait for the daily cases to cross the 1000-mark for three consecutive days within a week to impose the latest curfew and declare that it would be stringently enforced this time.

It is rather disheartening and incomprehensible that the government had been hesitating to impose effective lockdown or curfew if it believes that such exercise would help in taming the contagion.

It is worth mentioning here that in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19, the Supreme Court had directed the central and state governments to consider enforcing a ban on mass gatherings and super spreader events as well as consider imposing lockdown in the interest of public welfare.

Thus, with Manipur topping the chart in terms of having largest number of districts, out of 47 districts in 12 worst-hit states and union territories, reporting daily positivity rate of over 10 per cent, the 10-day curfew will hopefully see the cops carry out their task vigorously and mark the end to the nearly four months of suffering of the ordinary mortals.



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