Northeast and Ebola
[dropcap]G[/dropcap]iven the geographical condition of the Northeast region the measures on Ebola taken up by individual state will be less effective. Ours is a small ‘island’ region surrounded by Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and Bhutan with just 21 km narrow stretch of land popularly called the Chicken Neck or the Siliguri Corridor (more formal) connecting the mainland India. Due to this reason cohesiveness of all the state governments of the North East region matters in a great way. In case of loose measures by these neighbouring countries, the North East region experience a tough time.
So far there is no confirmed case of Ebola reported in the North East region. However, we cannot afford not to adopt the ‘prevention is better than cure’ policy for the Ebola onslaught will be too costly an affair for a poorly equipped region like ours. The state governments no doubt, have started ringing the alarming bell on the Ebola issue.This column would like to suggest that concerned departments of all the state governments of the North East region should convene a joint meeting any day from now on the Ebola issue. Chalking out strategies jointly to address the issue will be more effective. It does not mean to say that the individual state government should not have its own strategies and dealings on the matter.
We say tight co-ordination is extremely necessary among the state governments in the region because of these reasons. There have been movements of people from Myanmar to elsewhere in India via Manipur and Mizoram. People that come in via Manipur will also have to pass through Nagaland while those via Mizoram also pass through Assam to travel to mainland India. In such situation, Mizoram and Manipur should inform Assam and Manipur to have further screening on them. This sounds not practical but we have no other option. Formulating a better mechanism is the only way. We can take no chance.