Covid-19: simple steps to keep Arunachal green

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]
One question that is in everyone’s mind is: ‘How do we ensure that Arunachal Pradesh remains a green zone for Covid-19 till a treatment or vaccine is found?’
Keeping Arunachal in the green zone is especially important because the health infrastructure here is inadequate to tackle large number of Covid-19 patients. Let’s study some simple steps to ensure that Arunachal remains green.
Considering the incubation time of Covid-19 and after undergoing 46 Days Lock down, it may be safely stated that Arunachal is Covid-19 free! That means that Covid-19 may be brought only from outside the state by humans or via transported loads.
The solution to keep Arunachal in the green zone is simply by preventing the Covid-19 virus being brought in from outside by humans or through transported loads.
To prevent the spread of virus through humans, nobody should be allowed to enter the state without undergoing minimum 21 days quarantine in central locations (Not Home) which are sealed and guarded. After completion of quarantine period, the person may be allowed to go home/ work. The other option is to test all persons arriving from outside the state for Covid-19 as per existing protocols before being allowed to go home. The costs for Covid-19 tests versus quarantine would be similar.
For essential loads, goods coming from outside the state should be transhipped via different set of drivers/staff at the designated entry gates after ensuring social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitisation. If required the transportation vehicles should be parked at entry points for two to three days for natural decontamination. Passenger transports going through Assam should not have any stoppages in red/ orange zone towns, villages or areas of Assam.
If we follow these two simple steps of preventing the Covid-19 from entering the state through humans or through transported loads, normal life can be resumed in Arunachal without any worries or tension by maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. Offices, shops, business, industries, agri-horticulture, farming, school, colleges can open without any fear or apprehension. We can play games, go for walks and conduct limited public events without tension. Doctors, health workers, police, officers, sanitary workers can work without fear.
The threat of the Covid-19 is so high that if few cases are reported in the state, the state and the districts will close down again in addition to rise in infections amongst our own relatives, friends and family members.
Remember the adage “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” If some simple steps can ensure that Arunachalese can stay safe and in peace, why is there any hesitations in adopting these steps? Of course, there would be some problems. But are the minor problems bigger than the threat of spread of Covid-19 amongst us, our friends and relatives?
Therefore, if the steps enumerated above are implemented strictly, Arunachal will remain Covid-19 free till vaccines or treatment is available. Do you want a Covid-19 free Arunachal? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)