COVID-19: Indo-Myanmar border to be fenced in Mnp

COVID-19: Indo-Myanmar border to be fenced in Mnp
Fencing work along Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur.
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 26 | Publish Date: 4/26/2020 8:19:52 AM IST

 The Manipur government is now focussing on checking =spread of COVID-19 from across Mynamar by intensifying its vigil on cross-border movement of people along the Indo-Myanmar border.

Manipur shares around 398 km borderline with Myanmar, a country that has also been hit by the pandemic with 146 cases with five deaths as of  April 26.

Manipur now has no COVID-19 positive case after t two patients infected by the virus have recovered and discharged from hospitals in Imphal they were treated recently.

Besides, no community or local transmission of the contagion was reported in the state so far.

The state government fears spread of the pandemic from the neighbouring country Myanmar where the virus reportedly hit the districts of the country bordering with Manipur.

Five hill districts of the state – Ukhrul, Kamjong, Tengnoupal, Chandel and Churachandpur –share international border with Myanmar.

However, the border in the three districts - Tengnoupal, Chandel and Churachanpur are extremely porous and the state government is currently focussing on effective check of the cross-border movement in the porous border area. 

After the state government sealed the international border on March 9 last, authorities of state government in the border districts have started erecting COVID-19 fencing along the borderline.

The border fencing work at Moreh sector of Tengnoupal district which was undertaken  amid objections from Myanmar authority was almost completed few days ago.

The objection from the Myanmar authority was eased by convincing them that the fencing was meant to checking cross border movement of people in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and not related to the international border line.

Observing international border at Behiang area of Churachandpur was another important sector for cross-border movement of people between the two countries, the state government has taken up similar work of erecting fencing along the borderline few days ago.

Official reports said fencing work of around 220 meter stretch of porous border in Churachandpur’s Behiang area has been completed and works at other places along the border were in progress.

The fencing work at the Behiang area of the border was taken up on war footing after Tiddim township of the neighbouring Myanmar which is at a walkable distance from villages of Churachandpur district of Manipur became a COVID-19 hotspot with four confirmed cases of the virus so far.

In the backdrop of COVID-19 case in the immediate neighbour coupled with state government’s constant efforts to contain the spread of global pandemic in the state, police and security forces have intensified vigil along the border since the last few days.

Official source said that one additional company of IRB, tasked to strengthen the concerted efforts of the district police and AR to close gaps by engaging in regular patrolling activities , has been deployed in the border area.  

Observing that the dry beds of the rivers that demarcate the international border were hotspots for cross border movement, the patrolling exercise also covered Tuivai, Samtui and Tuivel rivers.


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