Pala calls for ‘whole-of-society’ approach to tackle COVID-19 pandemic

Shillong, Apr 3: Congress MP from Shillong, Vincent H Pala on Friday urged the state government to take a whole-of-society approach and many unprecedented measures to fight against the spread of COVID-19.

In his letter to the state chief secretary M S Rao, Pala hoped that the 21-day quarantine in the State as well as in the country as a whole will stop or minimise the spread of the virus.

“I strongly believe that the Central government and the people will overcome the pandemic soon,” he said.

In order to save peoples’ lives and curb the extremely infectious and the most dangerous virus ever in human history, Pala said, “we should take a whole-of-society approach and many unprecedented measures. The whole country, the governments at all levels and the people from all walks of life including the army and millions of social workers at grassroots level must be mobilized and united.”

“These are exactly some measures, or lessons could be drawn from China’s arduous battle with the pandemic, for our reference,” he added.

Emphasizing on the need to identify and take in all the infected people, the MP said, “You will never win a hidden enemy.”

He said in late in February in Wuhan City, social workers visited each family of every neighbourhood and identified all the infected and suspected infected patients. Then those patients with severe symptoms were sent to designated hospitals, including the two hospitals newly built in 10 days, and those with mild symptoms, were sent to makeshift hospitals newly transformed from public facilities.

“It turns out into a very significant measure because it separated the infected and non-infected and successfully stopped the rampant spread of the virus in families and neighbourhoods,” Pala said.

According to him, self-quarantine by infected patient themselves proves not working and self-defeating.

The MP further stressed on the need to protect and equip the doctors and nurses as much as possible so they could win.

“Over 42,000 doctors and nurses across the country had been sent to Hubei and Wuhan to help and support the overwhelmed local hospitals. Thanks to careful precautions and sound self-protective equipment, no infections happened among those doctors and nurses. Along with their local colleagues, they worked very hard and with very long hours each day for two months. Without their tireless efforts, the war would never be won,” he said.

“The last but not least, ensure the supply of life necessities. During the 2-month shutdown, under the coordination of the central government, thousands of tons of food and vegetables have been transported to Hubei and Wuhan each day and ensure the over 60 million people have enough food supply when they were required to stay at home, and self-quarantine, which proved also very crucial to lessen the spread of the virus,” Pala further suggested.

Stating that the pandemic is the common enemy of human kind and needs joint efforts by the whole community, the MP said, “To win the war against the virus, unity and working together is the only solution. We are ready to work with and support our citizens and the people of Meghalaya to prevail over the pandemic.”