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Saturday, 11 April 2020 - Imphal Times

Nationwide lockdown extended for two more weeks, after PM consulted with CMs

IT Desk

Imphal, April 11

After meeting with Chief Ministers of all the states via video conference today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended two more weeks of lockdown with some graded relaxation in the fight against COVID-19, according to Times Now TV news channel. The lockdown, effective 25 March, was to end on 14 April. The decision comes after Modi and Chief Ministers of various states met over a video conference call for more than five hours.

Fear of community transmission of the Coronavirus happening in some parts of the country, exemplified by a continuous rise in number of fresh cases daily, would have led to the government taking the decision.

Odisha and Punjab had declared an extension of the lockdown Friday itself. Many other Chief Ministers, both from the opposition side as well Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) favoured the extension. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) led Maharashtra, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)-led Telangana, Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led West Bengal and Congress-led Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh were some of the key non-BJP led state governments that supported the extension of lockdown.

Ahead of today’s video conferencing meeting, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister took stock of the situation with the Empowered groups at a high level meeting in New Delhi yesterday.

Prime Minister has already held talks with leaders of various political parties on 8th of this month as well as with different stakeholders to seek their views and support to contain the spread of COVID 19. The Prime Minister has discussed on two occasions the implementation of lockdown with state Chief Ministers and LGs of union territories. He held interactions with them via video conferencing on the 20th of March and 2nd of April.

As per latest figures of ministry of health and family welfare, there are 6,565 active cases of covid-19. There have been 239 deaths.

India witnessed a sharp rise in just a few days, with the number of cases jumping from around 5,000 on 7 April to more than 7,000 on 10 April. Among the states that contributed the most to this spike were Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The number of deaths also increased to over 200 from 136 in just three days.

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Imphal jams during 5 hours relaxation of lockdown; Community distancing not followed, law enforcers seen helpless

IT News

Imphal, April 11

Imphal city was jammed today with vehicular movement and overcrowded market area as district administration had relaxed and ordered shops and petrol pumps to remain open from 6 am to 11 am today morning. The order was however updated late in the evening saying that petrol pumps should be open for people on emergency service only.

Not only in Imphal but also at all market places opened today were jammed with people and vehicle rushed to buy vegetable and essential items. There were few people seen with masks but physical distancing of at least 1 (meter) was not seen at any of the market sites open at Nagamapal area in Imphal west, Lamlong in Imphal West, Yairipok, Churachandpur among others. However, at much pharmacy opened during the relaxation hours today people were seen waiting in queue by maintaining physical distancing.

Despite the final government order to open the petrol pump for people in emergency service only, almost all petrol pumps in Imphal East and West area were flooded with two wheelers and 4 wheelers vehicles. Some who had been waiting in queue since early morning had to return with dismay as the relaxation ended at 11 am and police on duty closed down the petrol pump at 11 am. 

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Manipur CM appeals people to install Aarogya Setu mobile app

IT News

Imphal, April 11

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh in his tweets appealed people to install the Aarogya Setu mobile app and also appealed the people to donate to the Prime Minister’s COVID -19 relief fund.

On the other hand, The Aarogya Setu mobile app has crossed over one crore downloads. People are finding the app very effective as the app is very safe and there are no privacy concerns. The rumours about data surveillance in this regard are fake and unfounded. Countries like Singapore, the US, the UK, South Korea, Apple and Google already have such systems in place for public safety.

Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India Dr K Vijaya Raghavan has said that Aarogya Setu Mobile App is an important weapon in the fight against COVID-19. Talking exclusively to AIR News, Dr Vijaya Raghavan said, Aarogya Setu Mobile App is critical because if someone is tested positive, people who came in contact with them can be identified.

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Dead bodies of Covid 19 victims will not be handed over to relatives

IT News
Mumbai/Pune, April 11

The dead bodies of COVID- 19 victims will not be handed over to relatives of the deceased and will be cremated at electric or gas cemetery by the state and those wanting to bury the dead bodies, will have to bury them in a 6 feet deep trench,out of the city/town,  Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar said here on Friday.
The dead body will have to be spread with insecticide and put it in two plastic bags before burial, Dr Mhaisekar said and added that the decision has been taken as per provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act (EDA)1987 .
Packing the body in plastic bag prevents early decomposition and the spread of virus. Besides, the body should be disposed off at the nearest crematorium irrespective of the religion. These rules have been framed under section 2,3,4 of the EDA and  Mumbai Municipal Commissioner has been declared empowered officer to initiate such measures.
On 30 March 2020, The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner  Praveen Pardeshi had issued a directive mandating cremation of dead bodies of Coronavirus patients regardless of their religion as one of the containment measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in Mumbai.
In a circular issued regarding the “Disposal of Dead bodies of Covid-19”, the BMC had decreed that all those who have died of COVID-19 will be cremated irrespective of their religion, strongly advising against following the rituals that entail touching of the dead body. The edict read that the order was taken after it was brought to the notice of Commissioner Pardeshi that all the burial grounds in the city were located in highly dense localities with a high risk of contamination of dense community/residential areas in the vicinity.
The notice also added that if someone is insistent on burying the dead body of a COVID-19 patient, he will be permitted only if the dead body is taken out of the Mumbai city’s jurisdiction in a burial ground and transport and other arrangements are made by the same person, following all the mandated guidelines and advised precautions as given for the disposal of dead bodies of Covid-19 patients.
In addition, the circular also highlighted that the burial of a body packed in a plastic bag delays early decomposition of the body and poses a threat of further transmission of the virus. The notice called upon the Assistant Commissioners to inform about the same to local leaders, adding that the funeral for the deceased should not involve more than 5 people.
It also instructed the hospital authority to inform the local police station before handing over the body to the relatives, contingent upon the confirmation received from the family members of abiding by the above instructions.
The notice also added that if someone is insistent on burying the dead body of a COVID-19 patient, he will be permitted only if the dead body is taken out of the Mumbai city’s jurisdiction in a burial ground and transport and other arrangements are made by the same person, following all the mandated guidelines and advised precautions as given for the disposal of dead bodies of Covid-19 patients.
However, circular was withheld, after the outrage of NCP leader and Minority minister of Maharashtra, Nawab Malik. Later in a tweet Malik claimed that he spoke to Mumbai Municipal Commissioner and as such the circular was withdrawn.
Meanwhile in Maharashtra 110 (66 deaths in Mumbai) deaths have been recorded with number of active COVID19 cases climbing up to 1666.

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Transparency and technological adaptations in fighting COVID 19

While everybody around the world is praying for a positive change from the present depressing and alarmingly dangerous situation, the grim reality is constantly reminding us of the preparations we need to make for more than probable worsening situation. We have witnessed the unfortunate outcome of a few countries which took the threats of the present epidemic with less attention and seriousness than it deserves. Our state is at a crucial juncture, and so far things are evidently under control. God forbid, if we let our guards down for a moment and make way for the dreaded virus in our state, the dangers and ultimately the outcome would be nothing less than catastrophic. This is the time when our collective resources and attention should be focused on the grave task at hand, and mutual understanding and cooperation have never been more important or necessary. Given the difficult geographical location of the state and the hindrances to smooth transportation both physical as well as political, the need for effective and logical utilization of our available resources which are dwindling with every passing day has become a challenge.
Unfortunately, a series of recent developments in the state is threatening to derail the all important effort and focus on warding off the Corona virus epidemic from the state. First off, the curious case of planeloads of betel leaf brought into the state during the lockdown amidst eager anticipation and requests for PPEs and other emergency medical requirements to be requisitioned from outside the state, although not illegal, has been swept under the carpet with the arrest of a few individuals. The lure and greed for profit is still evidently a greater priority than the threat to life. The blatant outburst of the Deputy Chief Minister against the Chief Minister is another interesting albeit unfortunate development. The fallout of this ugly public tirade can still destabilize the political atmosphere of the state government, as the present coalition government is not without infighting while the opposition who had the majority mandate during the last general election must surely be mulling its opportunity to change its fortune. If the state government is to assure the public of its expressed intent of making essential commodities available to everyone, its functioning, especially with regards to the public distribution system should be more transparent and stepped up at the same time. Another challenge that is threatening to expose the people of the state to the epidemic is the increasing reports of smuggling of illegal immigrants from outside the state. While the practice may very well be lucrative for those transporters engaging in such dangerous activities, this poses a serious problem that needs to be checked immediately. The security personnel guarding the entry points clearly need to step up their vigil and alertness. Those who are involved in such smugglings should be brought to book and exemplary punishment applicable under law should be meted out without delay to deter further attempts.
Developing and implementing a smooth online ordering and delivering mechanism for goods will go a long way in easing public congestion and movements. Sports and other informative and entertainment items need to be made available for online order and delivery as this will keep boredom at bay for the energetic children who are getting increasingly frustrated and unmanageable within the confines of their homes. The bottomline is that promoting social distancing and reducing social gathering through promotion of online and telephonic transactions as well as removing hindrances to the delivery system will certainly ensure compliance by the public.

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