Student bodies slam government on SOP for returnees to Manipur

The student bodies, including All Manipur Students Union, Manipur Students Federation, Democratic Students Association Manipur, Kangleipak Students Association, Students Union of Kangleipak and Apunba Imagi Maheirol Sinpanglup on Sunday opposed the SOP for the asymptomatic passengers as it could pose problem between the returnees and the locals.

Condemning the state government’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued on May 24, which allowed asymptomatic returnees arriving by flight to undergo home quarantine, six student bodies in the state thronged Bir Tekendrajit International airport, Imphal on Monday.

However, a fresh SOP issued by the state government on Monday stated that all asymptomatic passengers arriving by flight be stamped for institutional quarantine or community quarantine on their hands with indelible ink.

The SOP issued by chief secretary, Manipur Suresh Babu directed all asymptomatic passengers to wait in the earmarked area for further transportation to quarantine centres.

The student bodies including All Manipur Students Union, Manipur Students Federation, Democratic Students Association Manipur, Kangleipak Students Association, Students Union of Kangleipak and Apunba Imagi Maheirol Sinpanglup on Sunday opposed the SOP for the asymptomatic passengers as it could pose problem between the returnees and the locals.

Briefing the media at the airport, president of AMSU, Peter Laishram criticised the state government for taking the situation lightly despite the increasing number of cases in the state. Earlier, at the initial stage the state government took different preventive measures but the same is not seen anymore, said Peter.

He also pointed out that the state government has been taking up measures to maintain social distancing for returnees inside the train. However, it is known to all that the social distancing has not been followed inside the flights.

The AMSU president also appealed the state government to frame social distancing guidelines for returnees in flights and to compulsorily quarantine them for 14 days in institutional or community quarantine centres.

Later in the evening, the students also visited St Joseph Higher Secondary School and Little Flower School, Human Resource Development Academy and discuss with the authorities concerned on the possibilities of making the institutions as quarantine centres.

First Published:May 27, 2020, 7:41 a.m.