Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Thursday announced a reward of Rs 35 lakh to the team of health professionals of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), who treated the state’s first COVID-19 patient successfully.
After testing positive for the virus on March 24, the 23-year-old girl from Imphal West district, the first COVID-19 patient in the state, tested negative last Monday. The patient had returned to Manipur from the UK, where she is a medical student. Since then, she was under quarantined at the isolation ward of JNIMS.
The Chief Minister said that the cash reward is to express the Manipur Government’s appreciation to the tireless and selfless work of the team of medical professionals in combating COVID-19.
He further said that all those who are at the frontline in the fight against this virus, including police, government workers, among others, will also be rewarded in a befitting manner.
Dr Th. Bhimo, Director JNIMS, said the Health Department is actively considering discharging the patient soon.
“We have discussed the matter with the girl’s father. As the girl has now fully recovered, it is just a matter of time [before she is discharged],” said Dr Bhimo.
With the girl testing negative, Manipur now has one positive case, a 56 year-old man from Thoubal district who attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin. The state has not reported new confirmed cases since April 1.
However, the Chief Minister hinted at the possibility of further extending the nationwide lockdown. “As the disease is highly contagious, we must take utmost precautionary measures to stop further spread. The state government will support the lockdown extension, if any,” he added.
Singh informed that there is enough stock of medical equipment such as Personal Protective Equipments (PPE), triple-layered masks, N-95 masks, among others.
He said that Manipur has, so far, received four consignments of medical equipment and essential medicines from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In addition, preparation is underway to convert stadiums and schools to quarantine centres to meet any eventuality, he added.
CM Biren Singh also appealed to the people to refrain from posting any message or videos on social media which can potentially incite communal tension in the state.
“We have received clear instructions from the Centre to arrest those who are inciting hate or spreading rumours on social media,” he said.
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