How villages in Manipur's Tamenglong are combating COVID-19 second wave

Today, the pandemic has spread to 28 peaceful villages and colonies in Tamenglong, causing untold hardship and loss of precious life even in far flung places, where it is difficult to travel and reach. However, there are a few villages that remained free of the Coronavirus infection till date.

Tamenglong, Manipur (Photo: Daniel Kamei_IFP)


The second wave of Covid-19 that has been taking a toll in Manipur with an ever-increasing number of infected cases has been slowly surging in Tamenglong, one of the most hilly and remote districts in Manipur with several green and beautiful villages. Today, the pandemic has spread to 28 peaceful villages and colonies in Tamenglong, causing untold hardship and loss of precious life even in far flung places, where it is difficult to travel and reach. However, there are a few villages that remained free of the Coronavirus infection till date as concerned village authorities ensure stringent measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.

Of the 28 villages, three are under Tousem Subdivision and four villages are under Tamei Subdivision and the rest fall under Tamenglong subdivision. The highest number of covid-19 positive cases is detected in Tamenglong subdivision including Kahulong village and Tabanglong village. 
As the second wave of the pandemic hit Tamenglong, Kahulong Village Authority chairman was the first to succumb to Covid-19. He died on Tuesday evening on his way for treatment to Imphal at Khongsang village. He was referred to Shija Hospitals after he was kept at a Covid isolation ward in district hospital Duigailong-Tamenglong for a few days following complaints of fever, shortness of breath, weakness, fluctuating SPO2 despite high Oz flow and persistent high blood sugar level.
The Coronavirus infection has been reportedly spreading from person to person who frequently travel between Tamenglong to Imphal or Noney.
However, there are a few villages which have taken stringent measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus for the safety of the villagers. Chaengdai village is one that remains free of the pandemic till date. It is located close to Kahulong, a village with the highest number of Covid positive cases.
Chaengdai village authority chairman Dimthaorei Panmei, who passes through Kahulong village daily told this Imphal Free Press correspondent that he had set up the Chaengdai Covid-19 Committee to help fight the Covid-19 spread in his village. He never halted at Kahulong village following detection of Covid-19 positive cases in that village and strictly advised the people from his village (Chaengdai) to avoid visiting the neighbouring village, he said.
"Those who want to enter my village have to produce Covid negative test results and the committee strictly follows SOP. Those government officials who want to visit Chaengdai village have to give prior information," he said.
Taking stringent steps at the village level, Panmei also said that he had ordered his villagers not to make house to house visits even within the village and if there is any emergency an adult should go and children should not be sent out.
"This is how we combat the pandemic Covid-19 and by God's grace my village is free from covid-19 though Kahulong village is located close to Chaengdai," he said. 
Chaengdai village has 86 households with 540 populations and the village is free of Covid-19 till date. 
Tabanglong village authority chairman Moses Gangmei also told this IFP correspondent that after Kahulong village, Tabanglong village has the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases. As many as 16 people from 10 households tested positive with Covid-19 recently. However, following strict home quarantine in the village, there has been no further spread of the disease. Some covid patients in home quarantine have recovered, he added. 
Following Covid-19 detection in his village, the Tabanglong village authority chairman ordered strict measures against visiting houses and directed the villagers to strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines such as wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing and frequent washing of hands with soap and water. 
"In this way we fought against Covid-19 and have been able to contain the spread of the viral infection till today," the village chairman said, adding, "With the detection of Covid-19 positive cases, all public gatherings, including church service have been stopped. We use loudspeakers to maintain social distancing from time to time and to alert about other requirements through loudspeakers".
Moses thanked the medical team for the timely help provided for the health safety of villagers from the pandemic. 
Meanwhile, Tamenglong on Wednesday recorded another 21 Covid-19 positive cases, including one person hailing from another district. With it, the number of active positive cases has surged to 78. However, as many as 41 Covid-19 patients recovered today. 
Out of 78 Covid-19 positive cases, three patients are being treated at community home quarantine, 62 others are being isolated at home quarantine, eight patients are at a covid care centre and five others are being kept at the isolation ward with oxygen concentrators.
In all, Tamenglong district has reported a total of 1653 Covid-19 positive cases. Of them, 1576 have recovered and eight patients succumbed to the illness till the filing of this report. 
Speaking to Imphal Free Press, chief medical officer Tamenglong Dr G Majachunglu said that everyone has a responsibility to control Covid-19. She said no one should move out of their house if there is no urgent need or work to do. People should stay at home and stay safe. Disobedience and roaming around with covid-19 has caused the spread of covid-19 from one person to another person.
She appeals to all Covid-19 positive patients who are staying at home to remain in isolation at home for at least 10 days and requested not to go out of the house even if there is no symptom of the dreadful diseases to prevent the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, Tamenglong town looks deserted following the declaration of containment zones from Tamenglong Ward No I-V. The containment measures in the areas have been extended till May 26, following detection of new Covid-19 positive cases among the local people.
First Published:May 26, 2021, 8:23 p.m.

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