[ Junroi Mamai ]
We all need to be prepared for tougher times ahead as the Covid crisis in our country continues, prompting most of the states, including our state of Arunachal, to extend lockdowns to check the pandemic’s spread.
It is not the time for us to lower our guards, especially when the state is witnessing a rise in the number of Covid infection-related deaths of the young, the old and even children. As per data, a total of 22 lives have been lost in the state in the second wave of Covid-19, while the total death toll reached 78 on Saturday. To add to this alarming scenario, the latest revelation by officials of Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences says that, of the 10 Covid-19 samples sent from the state to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Regional Medical Research Centre in Dibrugarh, Assam, six have been identified as the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-COV2. It is the same variant which is found in Maharashtra and Delhi that have been severely hit by the pandemic.
Considering the fact that this particular variant is more transmissible, the state’s health officials have therefore advised people to strictly maintain Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. They have warned that more people would die if the spread of the infection is not stopped now, and that it can only be achieved if we all adhere to the Covid guidelines.
However, many sadly still fail to realize the gravity of the situation. There are many who still do not wear masks or sanitize or maintain social distancing at all, despite repeated appeals and sensitization efforts by the government agencies. The state government has, on the other hand, fallen short of its responsibility on several occasions post the first wave of the pandemic. It lowered its guards even as the rest of the states in the country were reporting the arrival of the second wave of the pandemic with a sudden surge in Covid cases.
Not anywhere in the state were there any stringent restrictions or guidelines issued regarding mass gatherings and people freely went to picnics, parties and festivals whenever they could after the first wave of the pandemic. Some district administrations also allowed celebration of festivals at public grounds where thousands gathered without any restriction. Needless to say, no one bothers about following the Covid protocols during such celebrations, which can put many lives at risk.
However, the onus is upon us too and not only on the government alone. We all agree that these are trying times for all of us, but we must not give up, especially when the threat has clearly doubled and there is the possibility of large-scale infection reaching the state’s interior villages. Recently, the state government also issued additional guidelines for the districts to check the growing number of active cases being reported there. It is therefore necessary that we all support the administration, strictly follow the Covid guidelines, and get inoculated against Covid-19 infection at the earliest.
Official figures show that around 12 percent of the state’s people have so far received the first dose, while only 4.61 percent received both doses of the vaccine. The state government had earlier aimed at vaccinating 25 percent of the population.