Tamenglong puts up tough fight to remain COVID-19 free

The tireless and unwavering efforts of the district administration, security forces, churches and the public at large have enabled to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the district so far.

As COVID-19 returns to Manipur and the total number of cases continues to rise with reports of new cases every day with the return of over 1000 people stranded in other states, Tamenglong remains free of COVID-19 spread till date. The tireless and unwavering efforts of the district administration, security forces, churches and the public at large have enabled to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the district so far. The challenges are enormous and difficult in the absence of proper infrastructure and shortage of essentials to fight the pandemic coupled with the inclement weather that has badly affected communication, road and transport in this far-flung rainforest region of the country.

As many as 91 people who arrived in Jiribam from Kerala and three air passengers are expected to arrive in the district on Thursday. On Wednesday, 75 returnees to the district from Delhi faced hardships as their road journey to Tamenglong from Jiribam was hit by landslide and bad road condition at Kaikao due to the heavy rainfall in the area and the driver of the bus refused to drive further ahead. The village volunteers and district police force helped clear the road but as the drivers refused to drive ahead, the village volunteered to cook food for the passengers while the district administration made alternative arrangements to pick the stranded passengers, according to ground zero report by the volunteers and authorities concerned.

Earlier, hundreds of returnees from many COVID-affected states returned to their home district and are being quarantined in about 14 community quarantine centres set up in the district headquarters. Despite the lack of proper infrastructure and lack of medical staff to attend to them, the returnees are being well looked after as apart from volunteers, donations of food and essential items pour in to help the government during this difficult times. The ever-growing community participation is exemplary of love and service towards humanity.

Meanwhile, despite the many obstacles and problems facing the district and its people, Tamenglong Deputy Commissioner (DC) Armstrong Pame on May 23 issued an order with an aim to ensure that Tamenglong District continues to remain COVID-19 free.

In the order, the DC said that in view of several stranded persons from the district likely to return back on flight with the resumption of flight service starting from May 25 and the State Home Department, Government of Manipur vide it’s office Memorandum notified for curfew passes, the District task force on COVID-19, Tamenglong District have decided to ease means of travelling for all the incoming person desiring to arrive in the district via airways and to let them be accommodated hassle free by their colony/ward/village upon their arrival.

The DC directed that irrespective of all destinations within the district, all returnees will have to report to the district headquarters as facilities for screening and other protocols cannot be arranged at other places.

Returnees should give prior information about their arrival date to the sistrict task force at least two days in advance prior to their travel, said the order.

“As notified by the above Office Memorandum of the State Home Department, their ticket will serve as a pass to enter the district and hence no separate pass is required from this office”, it added.

There will be two vehicles arranged on daily basis which will take off from Imphal Airport after the last flight landed at Imphal Airport; Passengers will be classified as incoming from Red Zone and those coming from Orange/Green Zone and shall be seated separately observing Social Distancing norms and other protocols”, the order stated.

Pame also informed that all passengers will have to pay fare of Rs 500 for the trip and on reaching the district headquarters, passenger will be screened at the district screening centre.

All other standard protocols will be followed like it is for all those entering the district irrespective of the places they come from and whichever mode of journey adopted as long as they have come from outside the state.

All these steps will ensure that Tamenglong district continues to remain COVID-19 free and all details of flights may be submitted to Premchand, DIO: 9612379754 (for Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai) and Kihon Pamai, DM, NIC: 9402967735 (all other cities).

On arrival at the airport, they have report to the concerned officers - Bantim Singh: 8414921880 (for Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai) and Nirmal Singh: 9436840494 (for all Other Cities)

“A Google spread sheet will soon be circulated at the earliest to fill up the details of all incoming passengers,” the DC said.

On Thursday, as more returnees to the district are expected, the DC sent out a message to the people for more volunteers.

“We are circulating volunteer forms. Anyone willing to offer their services for free kindly register in the format. We have no resources to pay the volunteers,” Pame said.

Even as the going gets tougher, the district administration has been going strong making all necessary arrangements and provide for the people of the area, especially for the returnees.

Tamenglong in West Manipur is a hilly region with rough terrain and experiences rainy weather almost throughout the year. The district is situated 158 km from the capital of Imphal.

First Published:May 28, 2020, 3:30 p.m.

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