Imphal: We really need to be prepared for the worst, said MP from Manipur Outer constituency Dr Lorho S Pfoze amid the COVID-19 crisis. More difficult times are likely to come because nobody knows how long COVID-19 is here to stay, unless we develop a vaccine, Pfoze added.
In an exclusive interview with EastMojo, Pfoze, who himself comes from a medical background, said that although Manipur has been declared COVID-19 free and all the 16 districts have been classified green zones, the state needs to continue to remain alert since the government has started bringing back the stranded people from different parts of the country due to the lockdown.
“We have a lot of own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters staying in metro cities as workers and students and, unfortunately, the lockdown is affecting their daily lives. So, they want to come back home because that is the only way where they feel safe and secure at these trying times,” he said.
However, he said that once the people who are stranded outside Manipur start returning, we do not know whether they will be coming as virus carriers or bring the disease. “We have to be truly prepared and none of this who are coming home should be left free without taking the necessary precautions for the safety and well being of all,” he said.
Social distancing, quarantine and personal hygiene for each individual are very important. Unless we make this a habit in our daily lives, the virus will continue to spread and that is our greatest fear, he said.
“When the worst happens, I do not think the facility we have created thus far is going to be sufficient to tackle the situation. We hope that only God will be merciful and there will be no further spread of the virus in the state. If it does, we really need to prepared for the worst and we have to truly work hard,” he added.
Appreciating the commendable job done by the frontline workers thus far while containing the virus in the state, Pfoze appealed the healthcare workers and police personnel to continue to remain alert. He also urged the state government to provide the best facilities, including personal protection gear for their safety.
“We need to continue to support the medical fraternity because unless the healthcare workers who are frontliners for COVID-19 kept safe, they will not be available to serve you tomorrow,” he added.
Earlier, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) MP had reached out to the state government and contributed essential medical equipment, including 14 BIPAP ventilators, 85 thermal scanners, 930 PPEs, 510 N95 face masks, 26,000 three-layered face masks, personal hygiene items, among others. Later, the medical kits were handed over to the chief medical officers of the 16 district hospitals of the state, including Mao.
The MP has also reached out to different sections of society, especially in the valley, and extended aid by distributing vegetables which are being brought from the hills.
Based on his observation, Pfoze also pointed out that there is a looming food crisis in the state, both in the hills and the valley, since most essential items which can be developed in the state with its own capability have been neglected.
“We are now suffering and our people are hungry since we could not get enough resources coming in from outside Manipur due to COVID-19 lockdown,” he said.
However, we must realise and take this as an opportunity to be able to address things in the right perspective. And this issue must wake us up and we should start utilising our own resources to address our essential needs in our daily lives, he added.
Calling on to the people in the state, the MP said, “Please go out to your farmyards or fields, keep social distancing and put in your labour; and try to get your best that can be put on your farm.”
He also appealed the state government to give best inputs and provide quality seeds to the farmers so that they can be planted in their farms or kitchen gardens.
“I think if there can be a good coordination between the people in the hills and the valley, where the people in the hills will produce from their lands and the valley people in coordination can transfer the technology to the hills and put in to the value addition together. We will be able to come out of the crisis,” he said.
Moreover, if our own people who have learnt from the metro cities come back and start enterprises together with those people who can invest, we an truly prosper and come out of this crisis, he said.
“There is no doubt that there will be a slow economy situation for sometime but if we pull in our resources together, our young boys and girls can truly explore into the possibilities of how to develop. All our government needs to do is to provide good electricity and connectivity,” the MP added.