Ramp up precautions

As Covid-19 cases surge across India and also in the state, the government of Arunachal has announced new standard operating procedures (SOP). The decision to start mandatory testing at entry gates, helipad and airport is a good move. However, the government also stated that persons entering the state from any other state or union territory and possessing a negative RT-PCR/TrueNat and CBNAAT report or a valid vaccination completion certificate shall be exempted from testing at the entry point. Here the government will have to be very careful. In the past there have been instances when people have been found carrying fake Covid-19 negative reports to travel. Any person carrying such Covid-19 negative report from other states should be strictly checked.
The new SOPs announced are still not enough, considering the grim situation in the country. Everyone knows that thousands of people from Arunachal had gone to West Bengal, Kerala and Assam to participate in the elections. There are possibilities that some might come back with Covid-19. Once the virus spreads in the community, it is going to be very difficult to contain. Therefore, as an extreme precaution, the state government should immediately ban all kinds of gatherings, including religious, political, social, etc. The schools and colleges should also be closed down at least for a month. The state government further should explore the option of imposing lockdown during weekends. In the meantime, the health infrastructure in the state should be reviewed and urgent steps taken to plug the gaps. This second wave is very dangerous as it is highly contagious and the mortality rate is also very high. The situation is grim across India and the Arunachal government needs to remain alert.