The sudden climb in the number of COVID-19 positive cases and death toll just after the lifting of curfew and lockdown in the state indicates the lapses in the government policy for fighting the pandemic.
This was stated by Moirangthem Angamba Meitei, co-convener and propaganda in charge of People Task Force for COVID -19 (PTFC-19) while delivering the keynote address of ‘one day academic discourse on COVID-19 pandemic’ held at the auditorium of Indian Medical Association, Manipur State branch on Sunday.
Angamba said that the surge in COVID-19 positive cases and death toll could have been circumvented if the state had prepared for fighting the pandemic with rightful strategies.
Since the state government imposed lockdown and curfew in the State earlier before the detection of first COVID-19 case in the State on March 24, people have already been reeling under the extreme hardships of lockdown and curfew when the first COVID-19 positive case was detected, he said.
Angamba pointed out that even residents and local authorities who were panicking at that time had started adopting wrongful strategies like fencing on the road, streets and barring healthcare workers, paramedical staff and even drivers from returning home.
He further said that there are no adequate beds for COVID patients and ICU facilities besides failure to implement government laid down SoPs in ground reality still and questioned the reason behind the lack of adequate beds and facilities.
The co-convenor also opined that the surge in community transmission of COVID-19 will continue if the state government does not adopt a scientific strategy and well planned policy in fighting the pandemic.
“Appropriate containment measures and decisions for fighting the pandemic should have been taken during lockdown and curfew. The state government should now take serious concern over the surging number of COVID positive cases and death toll and must take up appropriate measures for containment and facilities for isolating and treating asymptomatic COVID patients,” he urged the government.
Briefing the media on the sidelines of the function, convener of PTCF-19 BK Moirangcha said that the COVID-19 status in the State has reached a critical stage where people with no travel history have even tested positive.
He said that the public discourse was organised to discuss loopholes in the policy and programmes of the state government in its fight against the pandemic. The government should give its priority in the fight against COVID-19 rather than focussing on the by-election, he added.
Later, a panel discussion was also organised in which joint secretary of Association of Health Care Providers of India Dr H Nabakeshor, assistant professor Manipur university Dr S Shantikumar, additional director of Health Services Dr Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang, representatives from police department and hospitals attended as resource persons.
The programme was organised by People Task Force for COVID-19 in collaboration with Indian Red Cross Society Manipur State Branch, Association of Health Care Providers of India Manipur Chapter and Indian Medical Association Manipur State branch.