COVID-19 task force expresses concern over practice of barricading entry points

TMB Report

IMPHAL: The People’s Task Force for Covid-19 has on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the widespread practice of barricading entry points of localities and thereby blocking public thoroughfare due to heightened fear of Covid-19 spreading to their neighborhood.

In a press release, the group stated that previously a similar response was observed in March/April when overprotective localities and villages attempted to cut off transmission chain of the virus through the process of snapping connection with adjoining settlements and prohibition of entry of outsiders. In the earlier instances, experts have given their opinions that the self imposed isolation was not a correct policy. Nonetheless, the practice is still prevalent and visibly in a more enhanced scale, the release said.

The only available tool to ward off the contagion is following the three simple steps of wearing masks, practicing social distancing and frequent washing of hands. Two additional protective measures above the three simple practices are staying at home and avoiding social contacts as much as possible. The group stated that even the WHO has recognized that these are the only available methods of protection against the Covid-19 virus, which we have to stick to until there is a drug or vaccination for cure. However, it explained that social contacts by adhering to the protocols is still necessary while building a fort around the locality by sealing the entry points will only make matter worse.

Supposing there is an accident, sickness, medical emergency or other types of urgent problems like fire breaking within the insular community, if there is no accessibility of road how can the lives be saved and the emergencies be resolved, it questioned. Thus, the better option will be to discard such unpractical strategies to fight the contagion and instead take up contingency plans by embracing our civic responsibility and being aware of guidelines for protection from the virus, the statement continued.

Units of People Task Force for Covid-19 can help in popularizing and spreading awareness on the benefits of using masks, keeping physical distancing and using hand sanitisers and washing hands to the common people. Local participation can be useful in setting up sensitization points at key locations of the residential blocks and educated the key roles the residents can play in the overall plan for preventing the spread of the virus, it stated.

The task force also delved on the harsh economic impact the Covid-19 pandemic has left during the last few months in the statement. Sale of items produced at home has been derailed, blocking the means of livelihood for many and pushing the families to the brink of starvation. On the other hand, due to scarcity of essential items after closure of markets, other families are facing starvation too from non-availability. In addition, daily wage earners are deprived of works due to the restrictions of varying natures during the Covid-19 pandemic and made to spent days without having their meals. In the myriad of hardships dogging the people, erecting fences and barricades will only compound the problems manifolds, the statement explained.

However, it is an established fact that maintaining physical distance of six feet, wearing mask and frequent washing of hands can reduce the transmission rate by 99.96 per cent while blocking thoroughfare will invite more problems, the note stated.

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