Student bodies demand effective state policy to curb COVID-19 spread in Manipur

Six student organisations in Manipur staged a sit-in protest at Keishampat Leimajam leikai community hall in Imphal Monday.

Demanding implementation of an effective COVID-19 counter measure policy in view of the rapid rise in the number of positive cases that is nearing 16000 mark and death toll rising to 117, six student organisations in Manipur staged a sit-in protest at Keishampat Leimajam leikai community hall in Imphal Monday.

The student bodies namely All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), the Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), the Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Singpanglup (AIMS), the Kangleipak Students Association (KSA), the Manipur Students Federation (MSF) and the Students Union of Kangleipak (SUK) have questioned the state government’s strategy to contain the pandemic.

Briefing the media during the protest, DESAM president Nameirakpam Edison urged the state government to formulate a comprehensive policy to combat the pandemic. He also said that the policy once framed should also be periodically made known to the people.

Edison maintained that they will be submitting a12-point proposal to the state government on Monday which include appointment of full time medical minister, setting up COVID-19 task force, daily or tri- weekly press briefing by the chief minister or the health minister along with officials and experts concerned, to establish 500 bedded COVID-19 hospital within a week and preparation of another hospital with 500 patient intake capacity.

The proposal also includes ramping up COVID-19 Intensive care units with ventilators not less than 200 along with equipping adequate oximeter and medicines, to utilise the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital or the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital as dedicated non-COVID hospital, expediting recruitment process of 100 doctors and 100 nurses, to extend psychiatric counselling to COVID-19 positive patients, providing counsellor training to 200-300 school, college and university teachers under Disaster Management Act, who will then provide counselling to each locality without fail.

The student bodies also demanded setting up of COVID-19 task force in every localities, declaring all COVID-19 related funds of the state, to seek experts' suggestions on how to derive funds for COVID-19, to declare if no funds are available and to seek help from the people.

Further, the students also demanded that IAS officers should not be made to supervise the doctors as it can lead to misunderstanding and even other problems.   

The student leader also cautioned that the manner in which the campaigns for the ensuing by-election are being organised can be a major factor in the rise of COVID cases in the state.

 

First Published:Oct. 19, 2020, 8:12 p.m.

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