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Announced on Jul 6, actualised on Jul 18 : Screening returnees
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 20, 2022 -



The Government needs to show it is serious. Announcement issued on July 6 and actual ground work starting on July 18 do^s not exactly convey the message that it is treating the matter with the seriousness it deserves.

On July 6, the then Health Director Dr K Rajo announced for one and all to hear and read that in the face of the rising Covid cases all incoming passengers would be screened but as it has turned out, screening actually started at Mao Gate only on July 18.

Time taken to set up the screening post is one reason that may be cited for an announcement decreed on July 6 to come into force only on July 18, but given the exigency of the matter it is hard to digest that it should take 12 days to set up a screening post !

It was on July 6 that the then Health Director announced that screening of incoming passengers would start at Behiang and Sinzawl in Churachandpur district, Moreh Gate Number 1, 2 and ICP at Tengnoupal district, Nambisha at Kamjong, Mao Gate at Senapati, Jiribam Gate at Jiribam and at the BT International Airport at Imphal.

However as reported, screening process at Mao Gate started only on July 18 and hereby lies the question of how serious is the Government in tackling the rising Covid cases in Manipur.

If this is the approach adopted to tackle a pandemic, dubbed a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, then one shudders to think how Imphal would respond to other situations.

Till date, that is after the resurgence of the virus, the COVID-19 Common Control Room in its daily update has not yet mentioned on how many of the new cases were detected from amongst the returnees or those who have had no travel history in the recent past.

It is also not yet clear on how effectively the screening process has been taken up at the other points already mentioned here.

Moreover it would help so much more if the Government agencies can inform the people on how many people are being screened on a daily basis at the places already mentioned here.

Or is giving out information on this not part of the efforts to take the battle to the virus ? Only the Government can answer this, but it makes no sense for an announcement made on July 6 to be actualised on the ground on July 18.

This is certainly not what the doctor would prescribe to the take the fight to the virus.

More than the statistics, what is worrying is the gradual spike in the number of positive cases per day. The month of July alone, that is till the 18th, has added 763 more positive cases, plus one more death.

The 763 cases till July 18 works out to 42 new cases per day and this is not at all a comforting thought given that the virus is highly transmissible and one can see the people lowering their guard while out on the roads of Imphal.

Equally worrying too is the test positivity rate. From July 1 to July 18, the average positivity rate works out to 9.61 percent, which is much higher than the 5 percent mark pegged by the World Health Organisation before any country or State can entertain the idea of opening up.

Everyone seems to know that Covid is not a joke but the manner in which the spread of the virus has been treated or tackled with seems to offer a stand on the contrary.

Other than screening incoming passengers, restricting gathering of people and enforcing SOPs, what else can the Government do to keep the situation under check ?

This is obviously besides the readiness being taken up at the different health centres. For one the steps taken up for contact tracing and tagging a place as a containment zone may need a thorough relook.

The Government may also seriously study the option of re-opening the Covid Care Centres to discourage home isolation for most homes in Manipur are not suited to keep anyone under isolation, particularly for a person carrying a virus as infectious as the coronavirus.

Keep the people updated too on the number of incoming passengers screened at the points already mentioned here.

In short show seriousness which the pandemic necessitates.



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