Imphal: The staggering rise in COVID-19 cases in Manipur has created a scenario for another lockdown in the state to control the widespread transmission of the deadly virus.
The state government has sought advice from the Center on imposing lockdown for a couple of weeks.
Ever since Manipur issued unlock guidelines in August, four months after the national lockdown, allowing more activities and ease on restrictions, the northeastern witnessed a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases and death, with 127 fatalities and 16,621 cas. Not just the general public, but the healthcare workers were also impacted by the highligh contagious virus.
Chief minister N Biren Singh chaired an emergency meeting on COVID-19 situation on Thursday with representatives of various government departments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and volunteers working.
The meeting was called following COVID-19 infection saw a spike amongst healthcare workers, including doctors, in the state.
As many as 120 healthcare providers, including 70 doctors and 40 nurses, working at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) Hospital have contracted to the virus while performing their COVID-19 duty.
Following the infection of 16 healthcare workers, including 14 doctors, from the JNIMS on October 20, its director, Dr Th Bhimo Singh issued an order for closure of the hospital for three days from October 22 to 25 till 8 am.
Dr Singh said that the decision was taken given the spread of novel coronavirus infection and to prevent further spread of healthcare professionals (HCP) of the hospital and the general public.
OPDs, casualty and all-new admission in at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences will be stopped during this period.
The closure of JNIMS, one of the two biggest government-run hospitals in Manipur, impacted the state’s healthcare system greatly with treatment to non-COVID-19 illnesses, especially those people with chronic illness and life-threatening ailments being affected.
Sources from JNIMS say that due to the shortage of beds, many doctors from the hospital who are COVID-19 positive are on home isolation. “There are around 36 beds and one ventilator at JNIMS COVID-19 care ward dedicated for healthcare workers, however, most infected doctors remained home isolation due to lack of beds at the ward,” said the source.
Those who have connections managed to access treatment for COVID-19 at the hospital, the source added.
Meanwhile, additional health director Dr K Sasheekumar Mangang informed that the state continues to fight COVID-19 while imparting awareness to the public on strict implementation of SoPs and COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviours (CAB).
“We have enough doctors and other healthcare workers to fight against COVID-19 and in case of many doctors getting infected; we need to know when and how many at a time,” said Dr Mangang.
However, if at a single time, many healthcare workers are infected, we may face a problem. But it all depends on skillful management, he added.
On Thursday, the state recorded 345 new cases, the highest single-day spike as COVID-19 positive with 332 locals with no travel history outside Manipur.
Meanwhile, three more persons succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours. They are from Bishnupur (2) and Noney districts and expired at Raj Medicity, RIMS and JNIMS hospitals.
As on October 22, the recovery rate for coronavirus in Manipur stands at 74.56 per cent with 196 infected persons recovered from the contagion virus.