Will opening of CHIC help in combating Covid-19 in Manipur?
In view of the concerning situation, a concerned citizen from Thoubal expressed the view that opening of CHIC would not serve the purpose unless the government equipped the community centres with all necessary aid to help care for the COVID patients.
In the wake of the present critical situation caused by the second wave of COVID-19 in Manipur, the state government had given the assurance to open at least one Community Home Isolation Centers (CHIC) in each assembly constituency of the state in the fight against the pandemic. Following the government's decision, several assembly constituencies across the state have decided to set up CHIC for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
However, amid the lack of medical aid and human resources in the state, will the opening of CHIC help to flatten the rising COVID-19 curve in the state? The worsening COVID-19 situation has been affecting an increasing number of people of all class and age and pushing the death toll up daily. Saturday witnessed the highest single-day COVID-19 positive number of 730 and 10 deaths. Since the Covid second wave hit the state, the state has been witnessing an alarming surge in new Covid cases and number of deaths.
In view of the concerning situation, a concerned citizen from Thoubal expressed the view that opening of CHIC would not serve the purpose unless the government equipped the community centres with all necessary aid to help care for the COVID patients. In a letter to the editor, one Binoykumar Okram from Thoubal appealed to the state government to immediately provide all medical needs to all CHICs in the state:
"In view of the huge surge of Covid-19 positive cases throughout Manipur, the state government is requested to immediately provide all the needs viz. doctors, nurses, medicines, oxygen and other required equipment to all the Community Home Isolation Centers (CHIC) recently opened in all assembly segments of the state. It is not a good sign that some covid-volunteers and warriors looking after such centers are complaining about so many handicaps they faced in providing aids to the admitted patients of the centers.
"Simply opening of the CHIC will not serve the purpose of the government unless the concerned district authorities/nodal officers and more importantly the elected representatives (MLAs) do not give all possible cooperation to the volunteers whenever it is needed.
"We all realize that the existing hospitals, government or private, of the state are presently not in a position to be able to admit and undergo treatment of all these so many Covid-19 positive patients which are increasing day by day at a rate not less than 500 per day as recorded recently.
"The CHICs are allowed to be opened by the state government in order to fill-up the gaps and render a helping hand to flatten curve the covid pandemic, however, neglecting cooperation from the side of concerned district authorities, in all possible ways, will only boost to increase the covid death rates. Let us not keep the patients admitted in the CHICs waiting for God’s Divine Intervention to heal".
Recently, the government announced the opening of CHICs at DIET Centre, Heirok Part-II, Khangrok (Heirok AC), Lamding Higher Secondary School and Waikhom Mani Girls College (Khangabok and Thoubal) and Boys and Girls Hostel of Lilong Haoreibi College at Lilong.
The Khundrakpam AC Assembly Segment COVID Awareness Cum Enforcement Committee (ACC) also resolved to set up three Community Home Isolation Centres (CHICs) in three different areas of the assembly constituency - one at RK Sanatombi Vidyalaya, Haotal; Kanan Devi Memorial School, Pangei; and Naorem Birahari College.
In Singhat AC, the COVID Management Committee decided to set up a CHIC with a capacity of 50 patients at Sadbhavna Mandap. The CHIC will be opened for asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients and the concerned MLA will facilitate the basic requirements like oxygen cylinder and oxygen concentrator. The MLA also assured to provide a dedicated ambulance at the centre soon.
The Management of CHIC in Manipur
A release state that all COVID patients in CHICS will be taken care of by the health department.
The CHICs will be monitored by the chairman of ACC, who is also the local MLA of the assembly constituency. The local MLA will ensure cleanliness and functioning of the centre, a release stated.
The state home department will provide security personnel to monitor the centres round the clock regarding law and order.
The district administration will look after the arrangement of drinking water and electricity at the centres.
The state government should bear the expenses for lodging and food of the patients who are admitted at the CHICs, a release added.
Need for People's participation
Meanwhile, as the state attempt to grapple with the situation that is fast getting out of control, the All Manipur United Club Organisation (AMUCO) on Saturday appealed to the public to support the healthcare workers in combating the Covid pandemic and follow the advice of the experts, and the orders of the state government to successfully overcome the pandemic.
"The public should not completely leave the responsibility of combating the pandemic to the government... It is also the responsibility of everyone to take part in the combat against Covid," AMUCO said.
Urging all to instead stick to the appropriate preventive measures firmly to defeat the pandemic, AMUCO sought the government to "acknowledge the support and role of the local clubs and public in fighting the pandemic and act accordingly".
Further stating that it will be impossible to confine the people in their houses by imposing lockdown and curfew for a long period of time, AMUCO asked the government to provide raw materials for farming to farmers so that their precious time is not wasted.
AMUCO also pointed out the need to strictly monitor gatherings for gambling, feasting and other activities at localities as it will be one of the factors of spreading the virus.
Spreading of COVID can be contained if people take up the precautionary measures as advised by experts, the organisation added.