New Covid Guidelines: Election unlocked

IFP Editorial: As the State Disaster Management Authority has allowed almost everything under the sun, the general impression among the public is that the government is easing restrictions in view of the impending state assembly elections 2022.


 

There is a steady decline in Covid-19 positive figures in the last one month or so, no doubt about it. Yet, the figures keep fluctuating up and down while the number of deaths caused by the virus shows no let-up as against the low percentage of vaccination more particularly in the hill areas of the state. Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Authority has practically allowed everything under the sun, though with restrictions of appropriate Covid 19 behaviour among the general population. The authority has permitted opening of swimming pools, except for competitive training with the permission of State Youth Affairs and Sports. Social gathering is allowed subject to the organiser or the host ensuring that Covid appropriate behaviour which is maintaining hand hygiene, wearing of face mask, maintaining physical distance between one another and others are followed by all present in the venue. As regards gatherings, open spaces or halls are advised while in case of closed spaces the number of persons inside should not be more than 50 per cent capacity of the space or hall. Religious places may also be opened subject to the concerned authorities of the religious establishment ensuring that COVID appropriate behaviours are followed by the devotees present in the temple or church or mosque and others. Night curfew will still be there from 10 pm to 4 am. For opening educational institutions, it shall be as per notification issued by Education department that was issued on November 9. Opening of all activities is subject to strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and SOP prescribed for the activity.

Imphal including the three women markets are opened now for all practical purposes and it is back to normal. Even with the opening of the main women markets, the temporary markets of street vendors in the peripheral areas of KhwairambandKeithelhave not vanished. Instead, the temporary markets are thriving with the general public preferring it where there is little restriction for parking or otherwise. Sooner or later, the women vendors in the main markets are going to raise hell over it. On the other hand, people seems to have thrown the government restrictions or Covid 19 appropriate behaviour in the air with many people seen in streets or public spaces without masks not to talk of maintaining physical or social distance, as health experts continue to caution the general public that we cannot afford to be complacent till the pandemic is over. Although the daily rate of positivity has gone under 5 pc for quite some time, the general impression among the public is that the government is easing restrictions step by step in view of the impending state assembly elections in early 2022. Even as the restrictions were relaxed, massive election rallies or mass gathering in the name of Go to Village mission had been held where Covid-19 appropriate behaviour had been abandoned while mass recruitment tests were held. Now, the general impression is that Covid 19 restrictions would further be eased in view of the assembly elections. Even the election machinery is not talking about taking up Covid 19 strictures as it begins election preparedness.

-Editorial

First Published:Nov. 23, 2021, 8:41 a.m.

Leave a comment