Living with the virus

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Pothashang Desk: In a regular press briefing by World Health Organisation (WHO) on COVID-19 on August 3, WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “There’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be,” indicating that the COVID-19 virus may never go from the world.

He stressed on “Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts” to fight further spread of the virus. Given the circumstances, all must start to live with the virus.

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It’s been long that people are put under lockdown and government must now start planning to unlock with more stringent norms (given the experiences in Manipur during times of earlier lockdown relaxations) as to put the life on track.

People can’t afford to be in the lockdown forever except for the few privileged ones. There are not many people in the state who are fortunate enough to fill their granary and put their hearths keep burning. Large section in Manipur society lives on their daily wages and government incentives cannot feed all.

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To fight the virus, Dr. Tedros said to “Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.” Apart from testing, isolating, treating, tracing and quarantining, government must also focus on extensive IEC activities to inform and empower people. By doing so, it will be easy for people to learn to live with the virus.

To be able to start living with the virus, people also have a greater role to play. Let the government do their part of testing, isolating, treating, tracing and quarantining, IEC and strengthening healthcare facilities. Individuals must follow COVID-19 guidelines by following physical distancing norm, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and other rules like not spiting at public places, etc.

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Only when both the government and public are on the same page, people can start living harmoniously with the virus. Until then, lockdown will continue, people will continue to suffer in the pool of uncertainties.

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