Lockdown declared in Manipur’s Jiribam district

Lockdown declared in Manipur’s Jiribam district
Deserted Jiribam town of Manipur after government declared complete lockdown on Sunday.
Correspondent IMPHAL, Jul 5 | Publish Date: 7/5/2020 1:23:26 PM IST

 Manipur’s Jiribam town has been turned into a virtual ghost town after 28 policemen were detected COVID-19 positive in the state sparking fears of community transmission in the district.

Streets, markets and public spaces were deserted as residents chose to stay indoors fearing contacting the deadly disease even as a total public curfew was imposed by the district administration.

Only personnel of the law enforcing agencies and those in essential services were seen on the streets on the first day of complete lockdown declared by the authority of the state government.

Jiribam district where the first case of local COVID-19 cluster reported was kept under complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease after a sudden spurt in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the district in 48 hours.

Complete lockdown of the district was declared by an order of state chief secretary L Suresh Babu who is also the chairperson of State Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management Authority, issued late Saturday. 

In line with the order, Jiribam district magistrate on Sunday promulgated a total curfew prohibiting people moving out of their respective homes under section 2 of the CrPC 144, with immediate effect after keeping the entire district under complete lockdown.

The total curfew to enforce the complete lockdown will be effective till July 15 or until further order, the order issued by district magistrate W Malemnganba Chenglei stated.

The order further stated that inter-state goods carrying vehicles will be allowed to pass the Jiribam gate. 

However, passengers coming by vehicles at Jiribam gate after midnight of July 5 will not be allowed to pass and will be put in the institutional quarantine centres at Jiribam.

Earlier, the district magistrate further declared 22 locations of the district including the police station at the district headquarters as containment zones.

Mention may be made that as many as 28 personnel of Jiribam district police and VDF have tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after an ASI involved in screening people who returned by train at Jiribam was tested positive earlier.

The 28 personnel were among 170 samples of suspected police personnel and family members of the ASI tested during the last 48 hours.

The 28 personnel who tested positive for COVID-19 include one ASI, four Havildars and a woman police who was assigned duty at the quarantine centre opened at RK Sanatombi Vidyalaya, Jiribam.

Meanwhile, several civil society organisations based in the district blamed the state government for surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The state government was responsible for the rise in positive cases of COVID-19 in Jiribam district, said the All Jiribam United Clubs Association (AJUCA), Jiri Development Organisation (JDO), and IPSA, Jiriribam in a joint statement.

“It is very sad that 28 persons were confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Friday while civil bodies in Jiribam, medical department, police, VDF and Jiribam district administration have been fighting tooth and nail to contain the pandemic.”

The joint statement appealed to the government to immediately fill up the shortages in the health department and to install mobile testing facilities for COVID-19 in the district. 

The joint statement explored one of the possible reasons behind surge in COVID infections in the district might have been referring patients by doctors of Jiribam district hospital to hospitals at Silchar of Assam, a COVID-19 red zone.


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