The Manipur State Cabinet on Monday resolved to impose a total lockdown in the state with immediate effect till March 31 as a measure of maximum precaution and safety to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
However, exceptions will be granted for emergency / essential services, grocery and vegetable sellers (except Khwairamband market and main bazaar areas of each districts), etc.
In view of the spread of COVID-19 looming large over the state, the state cabinet took the decision today. Briefing the media at his quarter at Sanjenthong, government spokesperson, minister Th Biswajit made it clear that the lockdown is more of a total shutdown.
Biswajit said that the cabinet deliberated on how China was able to control the pandemic with various precautionary measures. He informed that those who have travelled outside the state will also be quarantined at home under the direction of the medical directorate.
Besides, the infrastructures and buildings for various dedicated departments of JNIMS and RIMS will be utilised to set up isolation wards. The same was approved in Monday’s cabinet meeting where the director and medical superintendent of the two institutes were also present, he added.
Considering the inconveniences to be faced by poorer sections of the society during the lockdown, the minister announced that entitled foodgrains for the month of April under National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be made available to the beneficiaries with immediate effect free of cost.
He also informed that the foodgrains will also be distributed to those who have not received the NFSA cards but are Chief Ministergi Hakshelgi Tengbang (CMHT) card holders as approved by the cabinet.
Biswajit maintained that the people will not be able to fight the virus if they are negligent. He appealed to the people not to remain aloof but to seek medical attention whenever any symptoms of the infection appear.
Responding to a query by the media, the minister asked the people of the state staying outside to communicate to the DGP, chief secretary, chief minister’s office if they face any kind of inconveniences whether racial discrimination or denial of help from helpline numbers. He assured that the government will ensure the safety and security of the people.
It was further decided to create a ‘Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund’ for making available funds promptly for emergency requirements with a Corpus Fund of Rs. 10 crore. It is appealed that the public may make contributions to this Fund for which an account has been opened in the Manipur State Cooperative Bank Ltd with Account Number 70600875695 (IFSC Code: YESBOMSCB01 and MICR Code: 795808002.
The Cabinet also decided that a Central COVID-19 Control Room (24X7) would be opened under Health department at CM Office Complex. The Control Room would be manned by the personnel from various departments, including police department.
The Cabinet further resolved that all Cabinet Ministers will donate a month’s salary to Manipur State COVID-19 Fund. The Cabinet further appealed to all government servants to donate a day’s salary to Manipur State COVID-19 Fund. The Cabinet also appreciated the people of Manipur for their cooperation and participation in making Janata Curfew on March 22 a complete success.