Monday, 29 June 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, June 29:

The All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) Imphal East district committee and Mantripukhri Municipality Bazaar Board Women while conducting a surprise drive at Mantripukhri Market today recovered a huge quantity of tobacco products worth around Rs 1.5 lakh.

The tobacco products were recovered and seized from around 200 shops in the area. Items recovered include Talab, Saajan and Shikhar, Battle leaves, Win cigarettes etc. The seized tobacco product items were disposed of by burning in front of public and media.

AMSU Imphal East unit president Sanjoy Mangsatabam said that the drive was carried out against the selling of tobacco items in markets which are illegal and banned, especially during the lockdown.

“People of Manipur are suffering due to the ongoing pandemic lockdown. Selling of such banned items which are hazardous to health is absolutely against it,” he said.

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IT News

Imphal, June 29:

A special train ferrying 1292 passengers (including 5 children) from Bengaluru had arrived at Jiribam Railway station on Sunday, the 28th June, 2020 at around 4.50 pm.

The train was started from Bengaluru, Karnataka on 26th June, 2020. The number of passengers according to the sequence of their departure from Jiribam railway station were — Ukhrul district-236 passengers (including 2 children), Senapati district-329 passengers (including 3 children), Kamjong district – 40 passengers, Kangpokpi district-95, Kakching, Chandel and Tengnoupal districts - 69 passengers, Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts – 212 passengers, Thoubal district - 25 passengers, Noney district - 31 passengers, Bishnupur district - 47 passengers, Tamenglong district - 101 passengers, Imphal East district - 32 passengers, Imphal West district - 59 passengers and Jiribam district - 16 passengers.

After undergoing screening and other mandatory procedures at Jiribam railway station, all the returnees boarded 41 buses including 6 MST for heading towards their respective quarantine centres.

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IT News

Imphal, June 29:

The Social Development Organisation (SDO), Pallel in a press release have warned of intense agitation if the Govt, go ahead with the proposed delimitation based on fictitious data of 2001 census. The club further added that the people of Pallel would support delimitation of constituencies based on up to date data which are non-discriminatory and non-contentious. The proposed delimitation is fraught with danger as the data was being kept withheld by authorities for a long time due to humanly impossible rate of growth. SDO also proposed delimitation based on 2021 census and to address the plight of people of 8 constituencies in outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency, where the voters  have right to cast their vote but are denied from contesting election, by increasing more Lok Sabha seats for the state in the proposed delimitation.

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IT News
Imphal, June 29:

United People’s Administrative Council (UPACO) in a press release has urged the concerned authority to restore Operation facility at the Thoubal District Hospital, which have been suspended for the last two months. The Council have lamented that the district Hospital with 50 doctors and 40 nurses have suspended their operation facility after multiple staffs of the hospital have been pulled up for Covid-19 duty at other centres. The Council further added that suspension of the facility has brought extreme hardship to the public of the two districts of Thoubal and Kakching which are mostly rural poor farmers, as they have to now rely on expensive private hospitals for such facilities.

Published in News

By- Mayanglangbam Merina
Imphal, June 29: 

The Biosciences and Biotechnology Department at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (or IITG), in its preliminary studies on CCTea has said that the tea has detected immunomodulatory properties, anti-viral effect and anti-tumour.
Following this, CCTea has entered into a one-year research collaboration with IIT Guwahati to further advance this breakthrough discovery to develop advanced therapeutic in three core areas – namely, immunomodulatory effect, anti-viral property, anti-tumour, and product development.
In the initial report shared by IIT Guwahati, it is observed that CCTea is non-toxic even at high concentration and does not alter the normal cell function. The results also suggest that it would be good for exploring its therapeutic potentials as a drug/natural formulation.
The research team at viral immunology laboratory at IIT Guwahati conducted several studies on CCTea’s immunomodulatory and anti-viral properties. It was revealed that CCTea have potent anti-viral compounds. The test was conducted using Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and Influenza virus as a model to test its anti-viral and immunomodulatory effects of CCTea. The preliminary test showed that it is anti-JEV and anti-influenza.
Further, it is also revealed that CCTea has shown positive responses and those points towards boosting the innate immunity.  The main purpose of the innate immune response is to immediately prevent the spread and movement of foreign pathogens throughout the body. Further research are being undertaken to quantify these initial findings.
Says Dr. Sachin Kumar, Associate Professor, IIT Guwahati, “There is ample scope for research in this area. It is well known that a lot of herbs are being used as traditional medicines for the treatment of various diseases for generations. While it is early stages, the initial tests showed promising results. Therefore, we are continuing further experiment and we will share the findings at an appropriate time.”
When asked about the recent development,  Ragesh Keisham – Chairman & CEO, CC Tea said, ‘We always believed that CC Tea is unique with multiple health benefits but we are really happy that our belief is now validated by IITGuwahati. Being one of the finest institutions in the country with state-of-the-art facilities, it is our privilege to have collaborated with IITGuwahati and with these; we are now in the race of humanity’s fight against this pandemic. While everyone is busy fighting to find a cure of Covid-19 where the infected is not even 1% of the population, we feel that the uninfected 99% are more vulnerable and our mission is to fight for the remaining 99% of the population by preventing them against this pandemic.’
CCTea, developed from a unique species of the finest quality of Cymbopogon Citratus, has been much loved by consumers in Manipur and across India. Since its inception in 2011, the company has grown tremendously with products being sold and retailed in India and in Europe.
As the world is being presently gripped by Covid19, and race is on to create a vaccine or cure, SuiGeneris Agronomy believes that until such time and beyond, CCTea can answer this and fill this gap to build immune, and its suggested anti-viral properties (by IITG) will be a major breakthrough in this.
CCTea is presently available in major stores across Manipur, and for customers across India, it can be purchased online at www.cctea.in.
About CCTea:
CCTea is manufactured by the SuiGeneris Agronomy Private Limited and is headquartered in Imphal. The company provides meaningful employment to nearly 2000 individuals including hundreds of underprivileged women across Manipur.
For more details, please contact: Sam Khumanthem | Public Relations – Head | +91 6913347475

Published in Guest Column

IT News

Imphal, June 29:

The annual Dr. Thingnam Kishan Memorial lecture organized by the Dr.Thingnam Kishan Foundation (DTKF) to mark the birth anniversary of late Dr. Thingnam Kishan for this year have been cancelled in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  A Tree plantation drive was conducted instead headed by award winning environmentalist Moirangthem Loya of Punshilok forest fame at the proposed permaculture site ‘Urum Warum’ at Langjing, Imphal West. The plantation drive kicked off with officials and members of Mapari Ningshingkol Lup (MANIL), Uripok, along with other well wishers. Moirangthem Loya speaking on the sidelines of the event urged active participation of every individual in efforts to minimize Carbon footprints. DTKF also extended gratitude to the Manipur Forest Department for providing with the tree saplings for the plantation drive.

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IT News
Imphal, June 29:

With the aim to ensure PDS items reach its beneficiaries during the ongoing lockdown, the Government continues to provide rice and dal to certain Assembly Constituencies of the State.
In Imphal West District, 70 quintal of rice was distributed to 1,400 migrant workers on Sunday. 10 quintal of Chana was also distributed to the beneficiaries in the District.
Apart from distribution, 4,807.25 quintal of rice under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) was also lifted today in Imphal West District. The rice was lifted for distribution to the beneficiaries of Sagolband AC (1,431.3 quintal), Singjamei AC (500.2 quintal), Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC (1,895.4 quintal) and Mayang Imphal AC (980.35 quintal). With today’s lifting, all the ACs in Imphal West District, except Sekmai-Saitu, had completely lifted their allocated quotas of PMGKAY rice for the month of June.
It may be mentioned that the State Government had been distributing PDS items to every households of the State under National Food Security Act , PMGKAY and Open Market Sale Scheme.

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IT Correspondent
Mumbai, June 29:
While Maharashtra is in the grip of coronavirus, the tension of authorities has increased with some of the Mumbai hospitals noticing symptoms of disease like “Kawasaki’ among children admitted for COVID-19 treatment.

Kawasaki disease, whose cause remains unknown, mainly affects children aged below five years. It results in high-grade fever and inflammation in blood vessels and can sometimes cause permanent damage to coronary arteries. However health authorities have noticed that even children between 10-14 years with COVID-19 are also showing its symptoms.

One such patient, a 14-year-old girl, was brought to a private hospital in Mumbai last last week, with “rashes and high fever”, two classic Kawasaki symptoms. She subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to ICU on Friday night after her condition worsened.  Doctors, who have put her on a high dose of steroids, believe she got coronavirus from her father, who had tested positive earlier. His ELISA test showed that he had developed antibodies against COVID-19.

Dr Tanu Singhal, a paediatric infectious diseases expert at the hospital, said that the above teenage girl, had high white blood cell count (indicating an infection) and low blood pressure. Since she came early we were able to stabilise her for two days, but her condition deteriorated again.

Children mostly develop the Kawasaki-like symptoms two-three weeks after a COVID-19 infection. It is not Kawasaki disease, but similar to it, Dr. Singhal said and added that the  Kawasaki patients also exhibit red tongue and eyes. She said she had seen two similar cases in Mumbai, one at the SRCC (Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children) Hospital, Mahalaxmi in South Mumbai and  another at a private hospital in Jogeshwari in North West Mumbai. Both had inflammation, fever and rashes and both were negative for Covid-19.

CEO of Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital Dr Minnie Bodhanwala also said they had started recording cases of Covid-19 along with symptoms of Kawasaki.

Similarly Dr Mukesh Sharma, head of the paediatric department at KEM Hospital, said they had seen symptoms of Kawasaki surface more than three weeks after COVID-19 infection. Kawasaki disease is an “immunological reaction” to a virus. We cannot be sure if coronavirus is directly responsible for it. In children it is possible that the signs emerge as a response of the immunity system.

Of Maharashtra’s 14,474 under-20 Covid-19 cases, 5,103 are under 10 years, and 9,371 between the ages of 11 and 20.  In the meanwhile records show that the  US, UK, Spain, Italy and China have been reporting cases of children with Covid-19 showing Kawasaki-like symptoms since April.

Published in News
Monday, 29 June 2020 17:05

COVID- 19 and its impact to community

The death of a twenty three years old girl on her last day of home quarantine has once more raised many questions on the way that the government in particular and the people in general is fighting the dreaded COVID 19 pandemic. Is there a missing part that the government erroneously had forgotten to take up in the war against the virus or is it the people’s irresponsible attitude that gives way the virus to either attack human kinds directly or indirectly. Is preparing more ventilators, hospital beds or setting up of more quarantine facilities in addition to the opening of more COVID care hospital are all that is required for fighting the CIVID 19 pandemic besides distribution of daily needs during lockdown. An issue that needs to be pondered by all sections of people as well as those framing policies to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.
It is a matter of fact that not only the people of Manipur but also people across the country are getting heat due the invasion by the invisible enemy. The sociological implication of ‘man is a social animal’ is becoming an irony. People are directed to maintain social distancing. Schools, colleges and universities have been shut down since the spread of the pandemic, maximum patients who are suffering from non-Covid related illness but required routine attendance to medical consultant are deprived of getting the health care service facilities as all major hospitals including JNIMS and RIMS are occupied for COVID 19 related illness.
When it comes to preparedness for fighting the COVID 19 pandemic, the state is somewhat doing well and good. Except for some minor complaints over mismanagement in quarantine centers run by district administration as well as under the supervision of the local MLAs, the state government’s initiative needs appreciations. Saying so, even as the motives is well noted, many questions if the state government is going in the right direction to fighting the COVID 19 pandemic. Is the state authority are acting on their own wisdom without consulting the subject experts, is what has been asking from various sectors.
This is being imagine after some important sectors which should have been taken up in par with other measures to fight the COVID 19 pandemic have been left out erroneously due to negligence from the part of the government. May be some did advice and the government had taken it but the way was rather like measures taken up just for name shake. Yes, this is about taking care of mental health issues of the people during COVID 19 pandemic. Talking to a local television programme Dr. Lenin had stated that the state had established Psychological Support Group to assist those having mental problems due to the COVID 19 pandemic. But due to ignorance from the part of the government on the importance of this support group, service provided to the target group could not be reached out effectively.
Until yesterday, before the death of a 23 years old girl while on home quarantine, the community as well as the government seems to have completely forgotten that such a pandemic will have psychological impact to all section of people. The only solution to this mental problem is strengthening the support group for boosting psychological state by deploying all staffs related with the discipline.
What is most unfortunate is the closure of Psychiatry department at both RIMS and JNIMS as well as at other district hospitals of the state. Manipur being in the conflict torn region had already crowded with number of people who have mental problem. In addition to this the number of people affected by novel coronavirus is also on the rise the number of people who cannot keep their mind under control. Not only those directly affected by the virus have these problem but the community at large has been affected due to various reason associated with the pandemic.
Now the question is, had those government machineries ever put up proposal for mass awareness programme to the people. This cannot be done by any A,B or C but this need to be done but experts who are qualified in the field.
Let the case of the 23 years old girl who had recovered from COVID 19 and had been on home quarantine be the last case. And as for that government, they need to take up measures to assure that the community is safe and secure.

Published in Editorial

By - Abhishek Dayal,
Director, PIB Imphal

The unprecedented global pandemic, Covid19, has tested the resolve and efficiency of all the governments across the world. India’s fight against the pandemic, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, began even before it was known to most people what this infection was all about. Since then, hundreds of path breaking decisions have been taken, relating to lockdown, social distancing, economic revival, assistance to the poorer sections, movement of migrant labour force and most important, tuning the medial health system to deal with the pandemic.
Manipur government has managed the difficult situation with alacrity and firmness. This is evident in its interventions and decisions in almost all spheres of our common fight against the spread of the pandemic. The situation is being monitored at the level of Chief Minister who oversees the efforts of Covid19 Task Force, State Consultative Committee and 12 specialised Covid19 response teams.
Border Fencing, state border management and lockdowns
The first crucial action taken by Manipur government was shielding and fencing of Indo-Myanmar international borders at Moreh and Behiang and strict vigil and screening at inter-state borders such as Mao, Jiribam, Jessami and other places along the porous Indo-Myanmar border at Ukhrul and Kamjong districts to regulate the inflow of tourists, passengers, and truckers. Daily screening of passengers at Mao and Jiribam and Imphal International Airport started right at the start of the pandemic in the country. All these steps were taken at the time when there were Zero cases in the whole of the North East region.
On the direction of the Central government, Manipur imposed a complete and successful lockdown all over the state on 24th March. Exceptions were given only for the movement and opening of essential services and essential goods. In later phases of lockdown, farming activities and limited commercial activities were started under strict social distancing norms. With the imposition of total lockdown, dedicated helplines were opened to receive queries and disseminate information to the general public. At no time were the citizens left helpless and without access to important information. It is to be noted that the people responded with responsibly and did their utmost at individual and community levels to make the lockdown a success.
The extent of involvement of State Government in managing the lockdown efficiently is reflected in the series of orders and regulations on physical distancing, strict enforcement of curfew, restricting movement of the public at various hotspots, penalising violators of curfew orders, relaxation of curfew, sanitization of cities and towns, spreading awareness through social media, print and electronic media, staggered opening of markets, and so on.
Health care
JNIMS Hospital was made the first Covid19 testing centre by upgrading its existing infrastructures. In the first week of March itself, the State Health Department geared up with the deployment of its Covid warriors - doctors, nurses, health workers, para medical staffs as frontline workers to combat the outbreak of virus. Later, RIMS Hospital and district hospitals of Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts were also upgraded as Covid-19 testing centres. The testing capacity of the state is being constantly ramped up, and as on date over 2500 tests are being done on a daily basis and now there is no backlog of tests.
Despite growing number of positive cases - the figure has crossed four digits - health care system has been able to cope up very well in the state. The rising numbers is not due to community transmission but due to the huge number of returnees who have brought the infection from worst affected parts of the country. The recovery rate is high and there has been no mortality so far. The frontline health workers have done a really excellent job of taking care of the patients despite threat to their own safety.
During the second week of June, 2020, the State Government established a 100 bedded COVID Care Centre at UNACCO School, a private school in Imphal West District, with admission of 19 patients being treated in this centre. The government plans for increasing the number of beds from 100 to 300. Necessary manpower is in place at the newly opened centre for proper care and treatment of patients.
Welfare and Economic Security
As can be appreciated, the poor are the most vulnerable at a time when earning opportunities come to a sudden halt. Central government initiated a massive Economic Welfare Package that not only directly helped the people but also gave money to state governments to work for the weakest sections of the society. Central government released Rs 6,195 crores to 14 state governments on June 10 as the third tranche of equated monthly installment of post devolution revenue deficit grant. The government had released similar amounts as first and second installments on April 3 and May 11 under Disaster Management Relief Fund to enable states to set up quarantine centres, facilitate testing, buy PPEs for Covid warriors and for other emergent needs. In April, Rs. 11,092 crores were given to states as first installment of State Disaster Risk Management Fund.
Needs of Agriculture and MSMEs were especially kept in mind while designing the unprecedented Economic Package as they are linked to the livelihood of millions of people. Fundamental policy changes were also made in these sectors to revive them and make them vibrant.These sectors are very important for a state like Manipur. There are many aspects of this economic intervention by the state, some of which can be noted here.
One of the significant highlight of the activities of Manipur Government during this period has been free distribution of PDS items and other essential commodities to the general public. Monitoring committees have been constituted for each assembly segment wherein the local MLA is the chairman. Each and every district administrator has established food banks where the affluent locals contribute food grains, essential edible items and vegetables to keep in buffer stock and later distributed to the poor and under privileged sections of the society. The regular supply of food grains and edible items to the general public is still continuing uninterrupted.
During the last week of March, 2020, the State Government appointed cabinet ministers in charge of 16 districts in order to physically monitor and ensure distribution of PDS rice and supplies of other essential commodities to the general public of sixteen districts. During this critical period, the State’s Horticulture Department opened outlets where organic vegetables, fruits and other edible items are sold to the public. One of the most striking events was exchange of edible items like food grains, vegetables and other essential items between the hill and valley people which led to emotional bondings and communal harmony.
“Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund” was created for proper maintenance of affected public during the lockdown period. Deduction of one day’s salary from each government employee was made mandatory. Civil society organizations, business houses, social workers and Manipuri diaspora from abroad have generously donated to the relief fund. The fund is just a part of the huge economic relief efforts of the government during this time of crisis.
Migrant Population
The very nature of lockdown made migrant workers - both in Manipur and of citizens of Manipur in other parts of the country - anxious to return to their homes. The State Government declared Manipur Bhawans at Guwahati and Kolkata as designated places for providing food and shelter for people who got stranded due to sudden lockdown. It was done free of cost and transportation arrangements were made for ferrying them to Imphal. Hundreds of Manipuri citizens in places like national capital were helped with free food and provisions by the state government officials.
In the middle week of March, 2020, a web portal Tengbang.com was opened to assess, monitor and redress the grievances of stranded Manipuris outside the State. The people are encouraged to register on the website and they were then helped in their homecoming through special trains from different cities of India upto Jiribam, a border town neighbouring Assam. Through this web portal, the State Government also transferred financial assistance to thousands of stranded students. So far, about forty-five thousand returnees from different cities of India have been transported by special trains as a result of the State Government’s initiative.
Management of returning population has been a challenging task. Daily screening of passengers at the designated places at Mao, Jiribam and Imphal International Airport started from the first week of March itself. Quarantine centres and isolation wards were opened before the outbreak of the pandemic in the State. Later, several community quarantine centres and institutional quarantine centres have been opened to cater the increasing number of returnees from outside the state. Management of quarantine centres is important and each MLA is appointed as the chairman of the quarantine centres and several committees constituting the Deputy Commissioner of the district, district police, sub-divisional officers, medical officers and staff.
Conclusion
The valiant fight of Manipuri people and the State government will ensure that the pandemic is contained and defeated with minimum distress to the people. It can be readily admitted that in these difficult times, the mettle of the people of Manipur has been sorely tested and that they have succeeded with flying colours.
(Facts and figures courtesy DIPR, Manipur Government)

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