Regional

Manipur lockdown extended till July 15

Correspondent IMPHAL, Jun 28 | Publish Date: 6/28/2020 1:37:44 PM IST

The ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state will be extended for another 15 days considering the surge in the number of COVID-19 infections, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh announced on Sunday.

However, inter-district bus service will  resume from July 1 by maintaining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines to check the spread of the virus, he added.

Like other states of the country, Manipur has been under lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 since March 24. With certain relaxations, the lockdown was being extended phase by phase till date.

Addressing a press conference , Singh said the state government took the decision to resume the inter-district bus service from July 1 considering the plights of the people owing to the prolonged suspension of the service. Necessary steps to resume the inter-district bus services, strictly adhering to the guidelines of the ICMR, currently enforcing SOPs and social distancing have been taken up, he said.

No other public transport system including auto-rickshaw service will be allowed during this period, the chief minister said, and appealed the people to strictly adhere to the SOPs and guidelines issued by the government to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

 More than 50,000 samples have been taken, including for re-test and for testing frontline workers till now. Almost all test results have been declared and there was no backlog for testing, he asserted.

 He maintained that the testing capacity has increased to nearly 2600 tests per day by getting new machines and engaging more persons.

The chief minister said that in order to supplement testing capacity, TRUENAT machines have been procured, adding that at  present there were two machines in RIMS, one machine at JNIMS,  two machines at IRL Imphal, two machines at Senapati, one machine at Tamenglong and one being installed in Ukhrul.

He informed a TRUENAT machine can give about 20 – 35 results per day depending on the capacity and can supplement PCR machines for urgent or vulnerable cases immediately as the result is declared within an hour.

Assuring  that there is no case of community transmission of the disease in the state, Singh said that almost all positive cases were from returnees except seven frontline workers who came in contact with positive cases.  Mention may be made that two doctors, four nurses and one volunteer at catering service in quarantine centres have tested positive for the virus in the last few days.

Till date, around 43,000 persons have been sent to institutional and community quarantine centres and around 7200 inmates are at present in quarantine centres. 

The chief minister also informed that the state government will resume evacuation of state people stranded outside the state due to COVID-19 lockdown. 

A special train ferrying over 1200  people of the state stranded outside  will arrive in the state in the next few days. Flight services will also increase to five per day against the present one per day, he said.

The intake capacity of COVID-19 patients have also increased manifolds, he claimed, informing that the intake capacity at JNIMS has increased to 150 beds, 100 in RIMS, 350 in Covid Care Center Meitram, 100 beds in Ukhrul in addition to isolation wards and COVID beds in each district hospital. 

The state government was planning to add another 750 beds in various facilities in Senapati Trauma Centre (50 beds), Imphal West Family Welfare Training Centre (100 beds), Thoubal GNM School (100 beds), Lamboikhongnangkhong Trade Centre (300 beds), Kangpokpi BIET (50 beds), Churachandpur NIELIT (100 beds) and Tamenglong (50 beds), he said.

Informing on funds for fighting COVID-19, the chief minister said that Rs 10 crores from State Corpus Fund and donations amount of Rs 14.41 crores received in Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund were being used in the fight against the disease. 

The state government has spent Rs 18.22 crores in transportation of returnees, purchase of rice, financial assistance to stranded persons and awareness activities by committee of CSOs, he said. In response to queries from reporters, the state chief minister said that his government has not given acceptance to the resignations from cabinet ministers by the four NPP MLAs till date.

“You judge whether they are still ministers or not,” he said.

The chief minister informed that he will be visiting New Delhi soon to bring an end to the political crisis in the state.  

The political unrest arising out of withdrawal of support by the nine MLAs including four from the NPP had ended after the latter agreed to continue to support the government.

However, the internal conflict within the ruling BJP was yet to be resolved as many of the BJP MLAs were demanding removal of two of the four ministers of the NPP from being cabinet ministers and giving more ministerial berths to the party MLAs.

Besides, the undisclosed terms of agreement which the national leaders of BJP had agreed upon NPP to remain in the government was yet to be implemented.

Media reports said that NPP ministers were demanding portfolios like home, power and rural development which BJP national leaders had agreed during the talks between the leaders of the two parties in New Delhi.

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