In spite of Manipur Government’s much acclaimed efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the infection continues to surge in infection with Delta variants, the highly transmissible variant of COVID-19.
The Manipur Health department on July 2 informed that the state has reported 69 new cases of the highly transmissible Delta Variant of COVID-19 cumulative to 87 cases. Earlier on June 18, Manipur had reported 18 cases of the Delta Variant. Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren had disclosed that 20 samples were sent to Hyderabad from Manipur for testing, of which 18 were found positive for the Delta Variant.
Significantly, the Centre on July 2 had rushed two-member high level teams to Manipur along with other five states of India namely, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh, that are reporting high number of COVID-19 cases.
The multi-disciplinary teams are said to have been sent to these states for COVID-19 control and containment measures. The team to Manipur will be led by Dr L Swasticharan, Add DDG and Director EMR; team to Arunachal Pradesh will be led by Dr Sanjay Sadhukhan, Professor AIIH and PH; for Tripura Dr RN Sinha Dir Professor, AIIH and PH; for Kerala Dr Ruchi Jain, Public Health Specialist Gr II, RoHFW; for Odisha Dr A Dan, Public Health Specialist AIIH anf PH and for Chhattisgarh Dr Dibakar Sahu, Assistant Professor, AIIMS Raipur. Teams will be supporting them in their efforts for targeted COVID response and management, and effectively tackling the pandemic. The two-member high level team to these states consists of a clinician and a public health expert.
“The teams will visit the states immediately and monitor the overall implementation of COVID-19 management, especially in testing, including surveillance and containment operations; COVID Appropriate Behaviour and its enforcement; availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen etc., and COVID-19 vaccination progress. The teams will monitor the situation and also suggest remedial actions,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
Moreover, the Manipur High Court on July 6 directed both the Central and State Governments to file detailed reports (if any) of the recommendations made by the two-member Central Team which was deputed recently to Manipur to study the conditions of contributing higher incidence of COVID-19 cases in the state.
The State Government in its all-out efforts is working hard to speed up the mass vaccination to reach the herd immunity. To encourage mass COVID-19 vaccination drives in all the assembly constituencies of the state, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren during the launching function of Mobile Insulated Vaccination Bus at Khurai Lamlong Keithel, Imphal East on June 30 announced that a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh would be given to the first fully vaccinated assembly constituency.
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on July 9 during an inspection of two-day-mass vaccination camp for women vendors of three Nupi Keithels and one temporary market held at Nupi Keithel No.3 of Khwairamband Keithel also announced that health officials would visit every household and conduct random COVID-19 testing of at least one member of the family. If that one person is tested COVID-19 positive, then the entire family members would be tested.
Now, no family members or attendants would be allowed to support or assist the patients who are undergoing medical treatment at COVID Care Centres (CCCs) and hospitals. No family members would be required to provide meals for patients at hospitals or CCCs as meals would be provided by the government as announced by the Chief Minister.
It may be mentioned that family members have been attending and providing meals to for the patients who are undergoing medical treatment at COVID Care Centres (CCCs) and hospitals for the last many months. And most of the COVID-19 positive patients have been in home isolation which many experts and opinion makers criticise as the root cause of wide spread of corona virus in Manipur.
Notably, the COVID-19 data available from the Department of Health Services, Manipur has been maintaining the recovery rate of COVID-19 from 81.05 to 93.54 at an average of 85.43% in the last more than two months. On July 9, Manipur recorded the recovery rate of 89.66% while the national recovery rate is reported at 97.18%. As of July 9 the total number COVID-19 positive cases Manipur recorded is 76,032 while the total number of recovered cases reported is 68,171. The number of COVID-19 infected patients who are undergoing treatment is 6,610 as on July 9.
The rate of COVID-19 infection in Manipur from May 1 to July 9 is still very high. On April 30 the total number of positive cases was 31,586 while it comes to 68,171 on July 9. It means that 36,585 persons were infected by COVID-19 in the last 70 days only while the rest i.e. 31,586 persons were infected during March 24, 2020 to April 30, 2021.
In the last 70 days, Manipur recorded the highest positivity rate of 23.93% on May 22 and continues to infect at an average daily rate of 14.74% from the lowest of 8.10% to the highest of 23.93% during the last 70 days.
According to the data available from the Department of Health Services, Government of Manipur, 9,43,697 tests have been conducted as on July 9 against the estimated total population of 35 lakhs. Altogether 7,01,748 commuters at entry points have been screened.
In the present COVID-19 situation of Manipur, many people are curious why the spread of corona virus cannot be stopped despite various measures of the State Government including continuous lockdowns and curfew where all normal activities of the public are banned.
The spread of COVID-19 in is out of hand as it has been transmitted amongst the community at micro level. The need of the hour is to prevent the death of preventable deaths from COVID-19, Dr Brogen Akoijam, Dean of Academic and Head of Department of Community Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) told Imphal Review.
If someone is tested COVID-19, isolation of the infected person from the family is key to break the chain of infection. We can hope that mass vaccination can help to reach the herd immunity to fight the COVID-19, Dr. Brogen further told Imphal Review.
However, only 92,182 persons have been fully vaccinated as on July 9 while 7,59,195 got their first dose out of 8,51,377 cumulative doses as stated by the State Health Department release.
Senior Editor: Imphal Review of Arts and Politics