TODAY -

Positive cases consistent, test capacity static
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: February 04, 2022 -



WHEN it comes to ranking the states and union territories in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and preventing deaths from it, then Manipur would definitely fare poorly if not the worst as is evident from variation of positive cases from 300 to 450-plus positive cases in a fortnight's time whereas the test capacity averages 2000 per day.

Apart from strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour by the citizens, enhancing the testing capacity is considered the best method to curb further spread of the infectious disease and subsequently saving the patients from falling prey to the virus.

A cursory look at the ordinary number of sample testing should compel one to wonder whether the government authorities are waiting for the situation to aggravate so as to speed up the vector detection exercise.

For nearly 2-3 months after the first coronavirus cases were detected in the state in the first quarter of year 2020, the pandemic situation remained under control as stringent measures were put in place to prevent the spread from among the thousands of returnees, who were isolated in institutional and community quarantine facilities, and allowed to leave for their homes only after confirmation that he/she is not a vector.

Then the state's healthcare system came under tremendous strain with the onset of the second wave from April, 2021.

However, the virulent second wave showcased that the government machinery could augment the testing capacity as 38,304 samples were tested in April; 1,03,392 in May; 1,84,163 in June; 1,84,941 in July; and 1,24,527 in August.

These figures for the five months, which had maximum number of positive cases and deaths per day, testify that there is enough manpower in the state to carry out the tests, which is essential to cut the chain of transmission as well as avert onset of the next wave of the pandemic.

While preventive measures initiated by the government and strict adherernce to tne safety guidelines by the public are of paramount importance in overcoming the virus, it is rather embarrassing that whenever the Union government issues advisories for combating the pandemic, Manipur figures prominently among the states whose rate of sample testing, steps to control the spread of the contagion and the pace of vaccination are not impressive to the concerned health ministry.

While there is strong possibility of the infection rate increasing in case the sample testing capacity is enhanced, timely detection of the infected people remains the lone option to keep the situation at a manageable level and bring some respite to the healthcare workers and reenergise them to lead from the front in battling the pandemic.

As on date, the virus containment measures across the world are centred on early detection of the infected people, their primary and secondary contacts.

Moreover, lack of initiative to augment the sample testing exercise will dilute the government's consistent claims that there has been compatible improvement in the healthcare sector through installation of basic infrastructure like medical oxygen plants, special recruitment of medical personnel and support staff and setting up of Covid-specific facilities.



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