Manipur’s political arena continues to descend into the gutter. The anti-defection law as defined by the 10th Schedule of the Constitution has already been turned upside down in ways that favoured the ruling collation headed by the BJP in full view of the public in the course of the past few years, degrading public esteem of one of the highest institutions of Indian democracy – the state Assembly.
But the sordid drama continues without respite. Two MLAs of the Congress, R.K. Imo and Okram Henry, both of whom cross voted to support the BJP candidate in the July 18 Rajya Sabha election, against their party’s own candidate, were served show cause notice as to why they should not attract the party’s penal action.
The two has since turned around to reply that they did nothing wrong as cross voting is allowed in Rajya Sabha elections, and that there is nothing in the law which says they cannot hobnob with political opponents of their original party from which tickets they were elected to the Assembly.
R.K. Imo is a son-in-law of BJP chief minister, N Biren Singh, but belongs to a Congress family. His grandfather was a Congress president in his time, and his late father, R.K. Jaichandra Singh, a Congress former chief minister of the state and a trusted ally of former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi.
Okram Henry is a nephew of current State Congress president and former chief minister, Okram Ibobi Singh. He is also under the CBI scanner for alleged involvement in a drugs racket which came to light after a big haul of Heroin at the Imphal airport.
The two also made personal attacks at the Ibobi, saying his stewardship is what has led to the degeneration of the state Congress.
The Congress has responded saying the party was dismayed at the personal attack, though the explanation called was for the two’s seeming anti-party activities. The Congress’ reply also noted that though there are no laws against going against the party’s constitution, the party has its own penal mechanism for all who break its norms.
The Congress has also called for a no-confidence motion against the BJP led coalition government during the Assembly’s one day session on August 10. It may be recalled, the BJP and its allies command a majority, but the BJP alone is not even the single largest party in the state Assembly.
Amidst stories of cowardice in Manipur’s COVID fight, many heroes have also come to stand tall. The tallest of them in public eye this week has come to be a doctor in full PPE who collapsed of fatigue at the JNIMS Hospital.
Dr. Thaoroijam Uthan collapsing on duty with fatigue but continuing to attend to COVID patients
A video clip wherein a doctor who collapsed while on duty at the COVID-19 ward of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Porompat on August 7 has gone viral on social media. The doctor, with the help of a COVID-19 patient, however got into a wheelchair and continued with his duty.
At first the doctor wearing all protective gear could not be identified but the braveheart doctor was later identified as Dr. Thaoroijam Uthan, who is none other than the doctor who attended the first COVID-19 patient of Manipur in March.
The doctor wearing PPE is said to have collapsed from heat and exhaustion. Hospital sources on August 7 evening said that the doctor is fine now and has resumed his duty. Sources said that Dr. Uthan took charge leading most of the COVID-19 Ward floors with the increasing number of COVID patients and the passing away of a patient from Leimakhong on the day.
He had been in a PPE for long hours in the soaring temperature, treating patients when he suddenly collapsed while coming up the ramp of the ward. But as seen in the video he was conscious and rested for a while until a patient picked him up and put him on a wheelchair and pushed him to the ward where he continued work.
Reports said that the JNIMS authorities asked Dr. Uthan whether he would be able to continue with his duty, to which he replied that doctors coming in to replace him, with the PPE and in this heat, could suffer the same fate as him. He replied to the director of JNIMS that it is better he continues his duty, hospital sources informed.
The doctor also wished to continue with his duty till his shift ends. Hospital sources said Dr. Uthan is a very dedicated doctor who has volunteered to treat the Covid patients since the day JNIMS Covid-19 ward began functioning.
Sources said while other doctors are given a week’s shift, he took it upon himself to take more shifts and this is the third week of his continuous shift but it is unfortunate that he collapsed.
Meanwhile, many people from different corners of the state have praised and expressed gratitude to Dr. Thaoroijam Uthan through social media for his dedication and commitment as a doctor after seeing the video of the doctor collapsing and then resuming work on social media.
Local Transmission touches 20 PC
In what could be described as a setback to the efforts of the state government and also disconcerting for the populace, the total number of persons tested COVID-19 positive through local transmission has reached 694, which could be taken as a determining factor for the stage of community transmission. The number is 20 percent of the total positive cases and corresponds to the ICMR’s guideline of stage of transmission considered community transmission.
However, the state government has not declared COVID-19 spread in Manipur as community transmission yet.
In spite of the state government’s claims and relentless efforts to curb the rise in Covid-19 infections, Manipur recorded its highest single day spike with as many as 249 fresh positive cases in 24 hours on August 7. Out of the 249 new cases 63 persons are locals without any significant travel history.
According to a press release issued from the COVID-19 Common Control Room by Dr. Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang, Additional Director and spokesperson of the Health Department in the past 24 hours, recorded at 5 pm of August 7, altogether 84 persons from general population and 165 personnel from Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) were confirmed positive bringing the cumulative number of positive cases to 3466. Out of which 2765 are from the general population while 701 are central security personnel.
The cumulative number of recoveries is 1926, out of which 1834 are from the general population while 93 are central security personnel. On the other hand, the number of active cases is 1530, out of which 829 are from the general population while 701 are central security personnel.
A COVID-19 Common Control Room press release has stated that the state has seen rapid rise in local transmission of the virus in the past few days. To check the local spread, everyone should wear face masks whenever going out of home, maintain physical distance and avoid all non-essential travels. If there is a problem or difficulty in the hospitals for accessing services, people should contact the 24×7 helpline toll free number 1800-103-2015, it said.
Moreover, in the last 24 hours as on August 7, three male individuals aged 76, 68 and 28 years old from Kangpokpi, Imphal East and Chandel district respectively with co-morbid health conditions expired taking the total Covid related death cases to 11.