Covid crisis in Manipur: Students raise silent protest amid lockdown

Claiming that lockdown is not a final solution for combating COVID-19, the student bodies appealed to the state government to conduct awareness on how to live along with the virus.

Several student unions in Manipur have come together amid the lockdown to raise their concern over the rising number of non-COVID patients dying in the state.

Six students organisations in Manipur have demanded the state government to dedicate RIMS hospital for non-COVID patients and JNIMS for COVID patients.

Claiming that lockdown is not a final solution for combating COVID-19, the student bodies also appealed to the state government to conduct awareness on how to live along with the virus.

To pursue their demands, the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), Democratic Students Association Manipur (DESAM), Apunba Imagi Maheirol Singpanglup (AIMS), Manipur Students Federation (MSF), Kangleipak Students Association (KSA) and the Students Union of Kangleipak (SUK) staged a silent demonstration inside DM college campus on Tuesday.

The students were holding placards which read, 'lockdown is not a silver bullet for combating COVID-19, convert RIMS into a non-COVID hospital'.

In a video statement issued by the students, president of AMSU, Peter Laishram said that lockdown alone will not be able to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The state government should announce its policy of combating the virus to the public and also conduct awareness and teach the public on how to live along with the virus.

By conducting regular press conferences and media interaction, the state government can inform the masses regarding its policy and works taken up to combat COVID-19, said Peter.

Appealing to the state government to convert RIMS into a non COVID hospital, Peter also said that the state government should also ensure that life saving drugs and multi-vitamins tablets are readily available to the public. It should also inform the public regarding the status of life saving drugs and multivitamins in the state.

He further said that the state government should also initiate steps to uplift the economy of the state and that essential commodities are also made available to the public.

The government should also instruct all hospitals in the state to remain open and provide medical service to the people of the state, said Peter while adding that the state government should also take up necessary steps for the welfare of people engaging in essential services.

A cabinet subcommittee should be formed to look after the situation of medical, food, public distribution system, economy and education of the State, he added.

Peter further informed that the six student organisations along India Medical Association (IMA) will shortly begin an awareness program on how to live long with the virus.

First Published:Aug. 11, 2020, 11:50 p.m.