After a long period of zero positivity for several days, a single positive figure emerged out of the blue on New Year Day in the state as if by magic and this somehow enforced the belief that the pandemic Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon from our lives. As a fresh surge continues to strike the countries of China, Brazil and the United States of America, the ever vigilant Modi government at the centre warned everybody including Rahul Gandhi that the pandemic is coming back. They tried to stop the Bharat Jodo Yatra from entering New Delhi in view of the impending wave and mock drills were conducted all over the country including Manipur.
According to the latest updated data issued by the state COVID-19 Common Control Room, one person from Imphal East tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Following it, the state's Covid-19 active cases stood at one and the caseload inched to 1,39,923 so far. The death toll remained 2149, while the cumulative number of recoveries reached 1,37,773. The recovery rate is 98.46 per cent.
Meanwhile, the cumulative doses administered so far stood at 32,65,986. Out of it, the first dose is 16,48,726, second dose is 13,38,153 and precaution dose 2,79,107. According to the release, in view of the surge in Covid BF.7 variant in other parts of the world, people in the state have been urged to get complete Covid vaccination doses and follow Covid appropriate behavior such as wearing face masks, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing. It also urged those with any flu or flu-like symptoms to get tested, the release added. So far, so good. The state machinery is alerted and prepared this time, it seems.
Well, that is about Covid-19. The year 2022 will also remain etched in our mind for two terrible tragedies. A massive landslide hit a NF Railway work site and an Indian Army company at Tupul and the body count was more than 20. Eighteen of the rescued were critically injured. As many as 81 people were affected by the landslide. Every year during monsoon season, we have had landslides in the highways and roads in the interior parts of the state.
However, casualty figures were minimal. So, we must say, the scale of disaster in the Tupul incident was unprecedented while also heralding many more devastating incidents in the coming future. Another was on December 21, 2022 when tragedy struck a bus carrying school children on an annual excursion when it met an accident at around 11.10 am in which 9 including two adults were killed at Longsai Part 3 on the Old Cachar Road popularly known as Tongjei Maril and it will be forever remembered as a day when the whole of Manipur wept.
The excursion was enroute to the beautiful Khoupum valley which lies on the old highway. Besides these disasters, the state is grappling with the drug menace and widespread poppy cultivation in the hill areas of Manipur. Chief Minister N Biren Singh even with his enthusiasm and earnest zeal to stop poppy cultivation is not succeeding in his effort. So, he has decided to scale up efforts to destroy poppy plantations in the hill areas by combining the brute force of both Central and state forces in the campaign. May he succeed, that is all we can say.