Manipur is is amongst the few states which show no sign of respite with positivity rate above 10 per cent and recovery rate less than 90 per cent while overall country’s situation improves with 97.22 per cent recovery rate and maintains less than 3 per cent positivity rate for 21 consecutive days
Despite the state government pulling out all the stops to flatten the COVID-19 curve by imposing “strict restrictions” for over two months, the state has witnessed a high number of new positive cases. It is amongst the few states which show no sign of respite with the positivity rate above 10 per cent and recovery rate less than 90 per cent while overall country’s situation improves with 97.22 per cent recovery rate and maintains less than 3 per cent positivity rate for 21 consecutive days.
In the past one week (between July 4 and July 10), according to the data provided by the COVID-19 Common Control Room, Government of Manipur, the state reported 5,177 new cases and 70 deaths with an average daily positivity rate of 15.26 per cent.
As on Monday, out of 6,521 test results received, 890 samples were found to be COVID-19 positive in the past 24 hours putting the positivity rate at 13.54 per cent as against 2.59 per cent national daily positivity rate. With 590 recovery reports during the same period, the state’s recovery rate stood at 88.79.
According to covidtracking.in as of Sunday, based on the value of seven day moving average of new cases over 14 days, Sikkim has the highest new cases increased by 65 per cent over the last 14 days; followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 43 per cent; Manipur with 37 per cent and Tripura with 24 per cent.
Recently, a central team was deputed to assess the situation in several states including Manipur. The team which visited Manipur had recommended several steps to curb the spread of the virus including testing, quality care at COVID hospitals and robust contact tracing, etc.
The Manipur government has since announced some steps like door-to-door testing. But there has not been any significant increase in the number of daily tests being conducted. In the past one week, just about 4,854 tests have been conducted on average.
The daily update by the COVID-19 Common Control Room now includes the number beds available in hospitals and Oxygen status. But with no official data on district wise total cases, deaths or active cases, it is hard for someone to grasp the severity and spread of the virus in the state.
It has been more than two months since the state government has imposed some restrictions including “curfew”. Experts have opined that any restrictions should be followed up with other measures like increase in testing, aggressive contact tracing, etc. But these crucial steps seemed to be missing. At one point, the state conducted over 9,000 tests in a single day. It is not known why such mass testing was discontinued.
In a letter recently written to the Manipur government, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had directed it to focus on several suggestions and take action at the earliest “in order to not let the situation slip out of control”.
With every passing day, the pandemic is taking a toll on the common people in several aspects of their lives. They wait for the daily COVID update every evening, holding their breath to know the number of new cases and deaths. The state government needs to revamp the strategy and re-energise the effort of curbing the spread of the deadly virus.