Protest rally in Mnp defying total curfew

Correspondent IMPHAL, Jul 7 | Publish Date: 7/7/2020 11:47:00 AM IST

Residents of Manipur’s Jiribam district bordering Assam on Tuesday staged a rally defying total curfew promulgated in the district following spread of COVID-19 at local clustering stage.

The residents demanded immediate resignation of the only MLA of the district alleging his poor or no response to allay fear and anxiety of the people following mass infections in the district.

A woman leader who took part in the rally expressed strong suspicion of the spread of the virus by the police personnel on duty at the railway station, the final destination where people from the state were ferried to by special trains. She demanded that the state government must take up steps to test en-masse the people of the district for the virus, adding that all police and VDF personnel posted in the district must also be subjected to tests.

She strongly charged the local MLA (A shab Uddin) of remaining silent even “without showing his face” even as people were in fear and panic, while also demanding his resignation.

“We were strongly dissatisfied with the irresponsible attitude of the MLA. He never comes out to extend help to the people since the very beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown,” she alleged.

Jiribam district has been under complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease ever since the first case of local COVID-19 cluster reported was since July 5.

The district magistrate promulgated total curfew under sub-section (2) of section 144 of CrPC to enforce the lockdown to check transmission at the community level,

As  many as 28 personnel of Jiribam district police and VDF tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after an ASI involved in screening people returning  by train at Jiribam tested positive earlier.

The 28 personnel who tested positive were from among 170 samples of suspected police personnel and family members of the ASI tested during the last 48 hours. With more personnel testing positive during contact tracing,  the number of positive cases rose to 42 on Tuesday as five more persons tested positive on Tuesday.

On Monday, nine more police personnel tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, a medical team from Imphal with rapid antigen testing kits rushed to the district on Tuesday. The team was airlifted by chopper.

The medical team comprising five experienced doctors in the field has started discharging their duties no sooner they landed at the district headquarters, an official source here said.

Dr S Sujeta who led the medical teams said that the team will start conducting tests on residents of the district headquarters with the rapid antigen testing kits.

The team will also investigate into the origin of the spread of the virus at the cluster level besides opening a COVID care facility in the district.

State chief minister N Biren Singh who is scheduled to visit the district headquarters tomorrow is likely to inaugurate the facility, a source in Imphal said.

Including the five in Jiribam district, a total of 40 fresh positive cases of the new coronavirus were reported in the state in the last 24 hours (July 6, 6:30 pm  till July 7, 6:30 pm), an official source in the state health department said.

The cumulative number of positive cases in the state is now 1430 with 659 active cases.

Including the 37 persons discharge today, the number of recovered cases increased to 771 which has exceeded the active cases. The source put the recovery rate at 53.91 percent.

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