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Bracing for the real test

by Jeet Akoijam
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With around 50,000 natives of the state stranded at various places outside the state until now due to the nation-wide lockdown finally getting the opportunity to return home to their families, the threat of the dreaded Covid-19 making its unwanted presence in the state has become more than a possibility. While the state government is reportedly making arrangements to ensure that every single procedure and precautions are taken to prevent and contain the infection and transmission of the present pandemic, the sheer number of incoming natives is still a great cause for concern, and rightly so. And while the feeling of solicitude amongst the people of the state which has been declared Covid-19 free after the two positive patients were successfully treated is understandable, opposing the move to bring them home is simply wrong, but surprisingly, a number of people, even some highly educated individuals and persons who are actively involved in NGOs and welfare activities are found openly expressing their objection to the plan.
One must understand that despite the inherent danger associated with such a move, our brother and sisters are living as unwelcome guests- most of them at least if not all, outside the state, and besides the increased risk of infection for those who are staying in places with high cases of the disease, the mental pressure and uncertainty which almost everyone should be going through should be taken into consideration. If things gets any worse, and it is more than a distinct possibility given the intermittent surge in infection in most states of the country barring the four which is still safe from any active infected cases so far, the ugly head of racial discrimination is bound to rear up once again, and neither the state government nor its counterpart anywhere will be able to extend timely assistance given the social condition at present. We must understand that they are victims of circumstances and should not be stigmatized, and for all our concerns about our own safety and their homecoming, they must have obviously been more cautious.
It is of utmost importance to keep in mind that while the people of the state are wary of the arrangements being made by the state government, we should all extend any and every possible cooperation and support to make sure the highest possible care and precautions are taken and instructions followed to the letter to ensure that no unfortunate cases arises out of negligence or shortage of equipment and lack of facilities. This is a task which should be performed to the exacting standard and a challenge to the bureaucratic bent of mind and attitude. And as for the people from the state who are coming home to their loved ones and safety, we should welcome them and wish them happiness. And while the people in the state are bracing for the real test of nerves and possible threat, the state government should make doubly sure that everything- and a little bit more is in proper place and working – from materials, machines and manpower to handle any and every eventuality.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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