Social Responsibility Imperative

We have entered the fourth month of the lockdown and despite the unlocking in certain areas of the  economy, there is a persistent  sense of unease about moving around in crowded places such as markets and main thoroughfares. The Covid protocols put in place by the district administration of respective districts are very clear by now and people know they have to wear masks to prevent themselves from contacting Covid or from spreading it to others.  Even in rural hamlets people are conscious about their responsibilities. Vegetables and other vendors all wear masks; so too the customers and others going about their work. The problem is with the well-heeled, educated lot. Despite clear Government directives on social distancing and the need to avoid unnecessary travel, recently a marriage party from Shillong went to Guwahati with different categories of car passes; some claiming to be going down for health matters. The resort they patronised had one Covid positive worker. And Covid being what it is, some among the 41 have also tested positive. This has created a scare because the 41 people are scattered in different localities of Shillong. The question everyone is asking is why this group of 41 were given permission to go to Guwahati. The other question is, why did the same set of people dupe the Government authorities by giving false reasons for travelling?

On Wednesday, two homes were sealed off in a particular locality of Shillong when one from among the marriage party tested positive. It’s possible that other members of the family would have contacted the disease. The sealing off is to prevent any movement and strict home quarantines for the other inmates. Since the disease is extremely contagious it is expected that every person, especially the enlightened, educated ones would follow the social distancing, masking and personal hygiene protocols more rigidly. Unfortunately they are the very ones that throw caution to the winds and exhibit their selfish genes, quite forgetting that they could be the cause for community spread.

Meghalaya has kept its Covid numbers well under control but with the compulsory movement of BSF personnel and others from the armed forces, public sector undertakings and bank employees, keeping vigil over the returnees has become a burden for the Government. Moreover, the presence of the North East Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) where patients come from across the region for medical treatment has become another challenge. A patient from Tripura tested positive and daily, patients from neighbouring Silchar where Covid is raging are coming for treatment.

With Covid, the more the inter-state movement, the higher the chances of it spreading.

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