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Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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TSA-GHQ urges for change of medium of teaching in e-Video learning classes

IT News

Imphal, May 16 :

While appreciating the Education department of Manipur for launching e-Video learning classes under the “Samagra Shiksha, Manipur” scheme, the Thadou Students’ Association, General Headquarters (TSA-GHQ) has urged the the Education Minister Dr. Thokchom Radheshyam to change the medium of teaching on the online video in English language, as students of Hill districts cause hardship in understanding the Manipuri language.

A memorandum submitted by the TSA-GHQ stated that 95% of the medium of teaching in the online video are in Manipuri language caused great hardship for the hills students in understanding the lesson. It said that due to language barriers, students of the hill districts would not receive the true benefits of the tutorial videos.

The TSA - GHQ urged the education Minister to change the medium of teaching to English language so that justice and equality among all the schools in the state is delivered as English is a medium of instruction in all the schools of the state.

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The psychological side of Covid-19 epidemic

The worst is just starting to unfold, and as much as we would love to wish it all away, the fact of the matter remains that we are in it for the long haul. With thousands more yet to arrive in the coming days, this is a very crucial period for the people of Manipur in more ways than one. Understandably, a lot of people from the state are expressing their concerns with quite a number of them speaking up against the efforts of the central and state government to bring stranded natives to their respective homes from across the country. While the timing of the exercise leaves much to be desired, it would be unfair and even downright inhumane to deny the thousands of our fellow citizens their right to seek out a safe and secure place to endure the lockdown which, by any stretch of imagination, is not going to be lifted in the coming weeks or even months. One can only imagine the plight of most of these people who have to endure uncertainty, discrimination and diminishing resources while trying to make sense of the pandemic away from the safety of their homes. In fact, a much less talked-about aspect of this current crisis is the mental and psychological factor which needs to be highlighted and given due recognition if we are to effectively tackle the present situation.
As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly sweeps across the world, it is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern in the population at large and among certain groups in particular, such as older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions. In public mental health terms, the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety. But as new measures and impacts are introduced – especially quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour are also expected to rise.
In populations already heavily affected, issues of service access and continuity for people with developing or existing mental health conditions are also now a major concern, along with the mental health and well-being of frontline workers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears likely that there will be substantial increases in anxiety and depression, substance use and abuse, loneliness, and domestic violence; and with schools closed, there is a very real possibility of an epidemic of child abuse. However, according to experts, a few steps, taken now, can help us proactively prepare for the inevitable increase in mental health conditions and associated sequelae (a pathological condition resulting from a prior disease, injury, or attack) that are the consequences of this pandemic. First, it is necessary to plan for the inevitability of loneliness and its sequelae as populations physically and socially isolate and to develop ways to intervene. The use of digital technologies can bridge social distance, even while physical distancing measures are in place. Normal structures where people congregate, whether places of worship, or gyms, and yoga studios, can conduct online activities on a schedule similar to what was in place prior to social distancing. Particularly relevant here is the developing and implementing routines, particularly for children who are out of school, ensuring that they have access to regular programmed work. Online substitutes for daily routines, as mentioned above, can be extremely helpful, but not all children have access to technologies that enable remote connectivity. Needed are approaches for ensuring structure, continuity of learning, and socialization to mitigate the effect of short- and long-term sheltering in place.
Second, it is critical that we have in place mechanisms for surveillance, reporting, and intervention, particularly, when it comes to domestic violence and child abuse. Individuals at risk for abuse may have limited opportunities to report or seek help when shelter-in-place requirements demand prolonged cohabitation at home and limit travel outside of the home. Systems will need to balance the need for social distancing with the availability of safe places to be for people who are at risk, and social services systems will need to be creative in their approaches to following up on reports of problems.
Third, it is time to bolster our mental health system in preparation for the inevitable challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stepped care, the practice of delivering the most effective, least resource-heavy treatment to patients in need, and then stepping up to more resource-heavy treatment based on patients’ needs, is a useful approach. This will require that systems are both well designed and well prepared to deliver this care to patients, from screening to the overflow of mental illness that will inevitably emerge from this pandemic. Scaling up treatment in the midst of crisis will take creative thinking. Communities and organizations could consider training nontraditional groups to provide psychological first aid, helping teach the lay public to check in with one another and provide support. Even small signs that someone cares could make a difference in the early stages of social isolation. And health systems, both public and private sector, will need to develop mechanisms for refill and delivery of essential medicines, including psychiatric medicines. A concerted effort will be vital in establishing a new and better system which can adapt and scale up as and when required. Understanding, cooperation and empathy can win this battle.

Manipur Health dept. issues strict SOPs for quarantine centres in the state

IT News
Imphal, May 13

Health Department Additional Director Sasheekumar released a statement to the press today stating that the Government has issued various Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) for quarantining of returning stranded persons. Those persons arriving by train will be screened by the medical team of Jiribam district. Any passenger found symptomatic would be immediately separated for further examination, testing, and treatment. All asymptomatic passengers will board the buses arranged by the state Government and proceed to their Home district. Each DC will arrange for screening of all arriving passengers by Medical team at a designated district Screening centre. All asymptomatic passengers will be taken to the Community quarantine centres. DC can also utilize the institutional quarantine centres as required. Symptomatic passenger, if any, would be immediately separated and taken to Hospital isolation ward. As per cabinet decision on date 6 May all arrangements for boarding and lodging facilities in community quarantine centres will be made by the community through local clubs , village authorities with the involvement of MLAs concerned and DC. The state Government will bear Rs 200 per head per day towards food for returnees accommodated in community quarantine centres. The DCs through local clubs may organize food for the inmates. The DC and CMO shall designate a 24 x 7 district control room where doctors and staffs shall be on roster duty. Stranded persons returning to Manipur by road are sent to the district screening centre after medical screening at Mao gate and Jiribam gate. He also further expressed that the quarantine norms are for 14 days and must to followed and ensured that distance of at least 1 meter between two persons is always maintained. In all quarantine centres (community, institutional) strict access control must be enforced and only authorized personnel should enter. Meeting or inter mingling with families or others should be completely banned. Signboards or placards should be placed at the gate of quarantine centres stating that entry is banned for the safety of entire community and families and must be strictly enforced by all.

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Preparing for the shifting battle line

The litmus test of preparedness, as the state government has been claiming for a while, will begin tomorrow, and with it the mindfulness and regard for the strict public protocol laid down by the authorities as per the recommendations of experts and the WHO. The large number of returnees is bound to create confusion and chaos, and the state government can brace itself for a string of reports of mismanaged, uncoordinated and disorderly functioning of the quarantine centres being prepared all over the state, hopefully only for the first few days.
For a population of more than 135 crores (UN World Population Prospects 2019) the recent claim of the Prime Minister of India of having the capacity to produce 2 lakh PPEs daily at present sounds rather like an afterthought and a feeble attempt of an excuse. The dismal lack of quantity of tests being carried out across the country should have been addressed at the outset, or should be given utmost priority at least. The issue of migrant labourers and daily wage earners walking hundreds of kilometers to their native homes from the cities they helped build could have been avoided had there been a coordinated plan of action. India cannot afford to make any more mistakes, but if the past developments regarding the formation of plans and policies and their implementations are anything to go by, the future prospects are should be of utmost concern. However, the time to dwell on the past mistakes has gone, and we don’t have to luxury of time to undo them at our leisure.
In light of the apprehensions and tensions that is bound to rise in the following days and weeks in the state, the public needs to take things in their hands and discharge their responsibility to the letter. It would be stupid and rather impractical for everyone of us to wait for the state government to act and perform its duties. Political rewards and punishments should wait. From anxious observers of the pandemic from a relatively safe distance all these days, the battle line will be drawn right outside our doorsteps from tomorrow and what we do or how we behave socially will determine our own future as well as for our near and dear ones. Lockdown protocols and government directives are just that- guidelines enforced to form habits with time. Relaxation of lockdowns does not mean that the virus is taking a break and that we can revert back to our old habits and modes of social interactions. We need to embrace the fact that a vaccine for the present Covid-19 pandemic might take months or even years, or never at all as some experts grudgingly opined. Some experts also suggests continuing with the present social protocols of social distancing, sanitization of hands and wearing masks at public places for at least a year in view of the unpredictable and elusive nature of the virus.
Bottomline is, we need to keep our guard guards up and be mindful of our social responsibilities and behaviors at all times. This is our new way of life and we need to accept and embrace the fact. The sooner we change and adapt, the higher chance we have of overcoming the crisis. This time, the ball is in our court and how we play our next move is all that counts.