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Fighting COVID-19; Health Advisory needs to be reviewed

The world today is being haunted by a dreaded deadly virus – Novel Coronavirus, that has its epicenter at Wuhan in China in mid-January this year. It doesn’t take long for the virus to spread across the globe reaching over 200 countries including countries like Italy, USA , United Kingdom, which have one of the best health care systems in the world. Scientist across the globe are trying hard to find a vaccine to kill the virus as well as to treat people are affected by COVID -19, but what is worrying to human kinds is that killing by the virus increases every day when any vaccine is yet to be produced. The only way that countries across the Globe are protecting their people is ‘lockdown’ of their entire nation to allow people to stay inside their home distancing between people to people if in case of buying emergency products or convening emergency government meetings. The characteristic of the deadly virus is not fully understood as of now and more findings are coming up.
As per the directives of Union Health Ministry, health advisory issued by almost all the states while following the complete lockdown to make sure that people stay at home to break the chain of spreading the virus. It is well known after surveyed by the ICMR that the virus penetrated in the country after people who come or either return to India after visiting countries that are affected by the virus. Until the report of mass prayers at Delhi’s Nizamuddin which was held from March 13 to 15  at Markaz in Nizamuddin area in Delhi, there is a fear that the Coronavirus Pandemic reached 3rd phase in India. Manipur is also no exception as there is a possibility some few joining the mass prayer.
Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh who is leading an exceptional role in containing the spread of the virus today appealed the people to voluntarily come out before it is late.
As for now until yesterday Manipur was a relief as there was no circumstantial evidence that may affect by the virus as no new case has been reported after the 23 years old girl which was found positive on March 24 and is reportedly recovering.
Now, with the recent report, the state government needs to accelerate its measures to fight the virus.
What is the need of the hour is that the health advisory needs to change. Earlier, people were advised to distance themselves for at least 1 metre. But the concept is change according to Dr. Joykumar Thokchom, a physicist, who has been associating at various Pharmaceutical Companies in different parts of the USA, an presently working as a Senior Director, BrightVolt, Inc. USA the virus can travel 2 metre in the air.
In his writing in Imphal Times, he wrote, “A person can get infected with the virus in three main mechanisms. One among is Exposing/inhaling mucus and saliva droplets from an infected person during talking, sneezing, and coughing. There are reports claiming that such droplets are of 5 micron in size containing lots of viruses in a single droplet itself and they can travel about 6 to 7 feet or 2 meters normally before falling to the ground due to gravity; however, if the infected person speaks loudly in the form of singing or shouting then the droplets are much tinier and become airborne with less impact from gravity and thus can travel much further to spread to a wider number of people.
The advisory about distancing for two meters is also advised by the Government of the United Kingdom. This was informed to the Imphal Times by another Manipuri origin doctor Bishwajit Elangbam, who is presently working as Consultant in Emergency Medicine Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS  Trust, United Kingdom.
So, earlier advisory about distancing 1 meter should be reviewed immediately and the government should issue another health advisory of distancing at least 2 meter.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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