Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh Wednesday announced a 7-day complete lockdown in the entire state starting Thursday afternoon (2pm). The lockdown could extend up to 14 days.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said the decision was taken by the state cabinet in an emergency meeting held in view of the rising cases of COVID-19, particularly of those without travel history. To strictly enforce the lockdown, the cabinet also resolved to impose a total curfew during the lockdown period, he said, adding activities related to essential services will be exempted from the purview of the lockdown.
Clarifying the need of a total lockdown, N. Biren Singh said the negligence of many people to follow safety protocol has led to the rise of local spread in some of the districts. “We understand that the public has endured enough hardship due to the lockdown. However, nothing is more important than saving lives.”
Singh, however, ruled out community transmission even as the cases of COVID-19 without travel history are on the rise.
It is also learnt that the state cabinet has also resolved to take strong action against those who violate safety protocols. As per the cabinet decision, people breaking safety protocols in quarantine centres will be slapped with a Rs 1,000 fine while those not wearing face masks in public places will be fined Rs. 200. Spitting in public places will attract a penalty of Rs 500.
On Wednesday, the state imposed a total curfew in Thoubal district after four persons, a Gram Rozgar Sewak (GRS) and representatives of Panchayati Raj Institute (PRI), tested positive for COVID-19. The state health department said the four positive cases are non-returnees with local contact histories. Prior to this, frontline workers, including staff of catering service and police without travel history, also tested positive in Thoubal district.
Accordingly many Government institutes including the Manipur Assembly have issued orders barring employees and 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 had touched 2060 of which 642 are active cases. So far, 1418 cases have been recovered, taking the recovery tally to 68.83 per cent.
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