Seven-day total lockdown-curfew in Manipur

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday announced seven-day total lockdown-curfew from Thursday 2 pm

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday announced total statewide lockdown-curfew for seven days from 2 pm Thursday and said that it may be extended for seven more days if necessitated.

The announcement was made in a press conference held on Wednesday evening at chief minister’s office Imphal. The chief minister said the decision was taken in view of the rise in containment zones across the state particularly Thoubal, Jiribam among others.

A total curfew will be in place to strictly enforce the lockdown. However, activities related to essential services will be exempted from the purview of the lockdown, he said.

Biren said that the lockdown and curfew may be extended up to 14 days based on the outcome of the prevailing situation.

Clarifying on the need to impose the fresh lockdown, Singh maintained that nothing is more important than saving lives.

“Many people have started neglecting safety guidelines putting at risk the lives of all. Police cannot control the movements of everyone. We as a responsible citizen have to take initiative to follow the guidelines,” he added.

The chief minister, however, ruled out community transmission even as the cases of COVID-19 without travel history are on the rise. He informed that the state cabinet has also resolved to take strong action against those who violate safety protocols.

People breaking safety guidelines in quarantine centres will be slapped with Rs.1,000 fine while those not wearing masks in public places will be fined with Rs.200. Spitting in public places will attract fines of Rs.500, Rs. 200 for those who fail to maintain social distancing among others.

On Wednesday, the home department imposed a total curfew in Thoubal district after four persons, Gram Rozgar Sewak (GRS) and representatives of Panchayati Raj Institute (PRI) tested positive for COVID-19.

The Manipur Health department has said that the four positive cases are non-returnees with local contact histories. Prior to this, frontline workers, including staff of catering service, police without travel history were also tested positive in Thoubal district.

Accordingly many government institutes, including the Manipur Assembly, have issued orders barring employees, visitors from the district from entering the office premises.

Against this backdrop, some major departments in RIMS and JNIMS hospital were also closed down by the authority after a handful of employees were found positive for COVID-19, all contracted from local sources.

Till Wednesday, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Manipur touched 2060 of which 642 are active cases. So far 1418 cases have been recovered taking the recovery tally to 68.83 per cent.

Biren said in view of the increasing number of COVID care centers today’s emergency cabinet has decided to engage 100 doctors, 90 nurses and 60 multitasking staff for six months on contract basis. The engaged employees will be utilised at newly open COVID care centers and will be paid on a daily basis, he added.

The chief minister appealed to the people to follow the guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19 as without the initiatives from each individual the war against COVID-19 would be futile.

First Published: July 22, 2020, 7:01 p.m.