COVID-19: Mnp CM appeals to scale down Yaoshang

Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 7 | Publish Date: 3/7/2020 9:28:22 AM IST

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Saturday urged people to reduce the scale of celebration of upcoming Yaoshang festival.

Singh joined the chorus considering the alarming spread of COVID-19 across the globe that has also hit the country. Many concerned civil society organisations and individuals have also called for low scale celebration of the festival.

Yaosang, one of the major a festival celebrated in Manipur for five days in spring, particularly by the majority Meitei community and coinciding  with Holi festival is due to commence from March 9.

The celebration of the festival includes playing with colours, thabal chonga (a kind of traditional dance form in the night time during the festival), sports events and public functions over the period of five days and all of which involve large gathering.

“I am deeply concerned that of the biggest festival of Manipur, namely Yaoshang is around the corner, and safety and health of people is of prime concern,” the chief minister stated in his written statement through the media today. 

The chief minister made the appeal in line with an advisory issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare on March 5 directing to avoid mass gatherings or possibly postpone such events till the disease spread is contained.

COVID-19 has spread to over 88 countries across the world affecting more than one lakh people as of now.

Though there is no confirmed case of the disease in Manipur as yet, 31 confirmed cases have been reported in the country.

Manipur shares an international border with Myanmar, which itself neighbours China, the country where the first outbreak of the disease was reported.

“As we may be aware one of the modes of transmission of the disease is mainly from person-to-person,  between people who are close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Therefore one of the preventive measures to be taken is to avoid participation in large gatherings,” the chief minister’s appeal note noted.

On the other hand, residents of Moreh, the border town of Manipur at the Indo-Myanmar border today demanded immediate seal of international border in the backdrop of fast spreading corona virus.

“We demand immediate seal of the international border considering the close proximity Myanmar with China. It will able be an effective tool to check spread the disease in the state,” T Seiboy Haokip, president of Moreh Consumer Club said.

Even though no corona virus case detected in Myanmar, residents in Moreh town were leading a live of fear since the country (Myanmar) is a neighbour of China, the epicentre of the outbreak of deadly disease, he added.

Myanmar, which shares a long and porous border with neighbouring China, is surprisingly not among the countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Manipur shares 398 km stretch of porous international border with Myanmar and fear has gripped villagers on the Manipur side of the border in Ukhrul and Kamjong districts. As such, they have already blocked roads leading to international border to prevent entry of foreigners.

Manipur government has been screening people coming to Manipur from the Myanmar side and other parts of India to detect individuals infected by the dreaded virus.


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