Tuesday, 19 May 2020 - Imphal Times
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:39

Huge haul of betel leaf seized

IT News
Imphal, May 19:
 A large number of locals including members of Khongjom Circle Covid-19 Relief Committee and representatives from 11 clubs of Khongjom Circle today stormed a brickfield and seized a huge haul of betel leaves estimated to be about three truckloads (about 180 baskets). A vehicle with flagpost reportedly belonging to the brickfield owner has also been seized. The incident happened at a brick field of Papal Mamang Leikai of Thoubal District under Khongjom police station when locals and club members who have been observing the activities inside the brick field decided to check out the warehouse. The brick field is owned by one Kangabam Jadumani of Charangpat who is also the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) Manipur State Dalit President. A TATA truck bearing Registration no. UP20 AT-2678 along with 5 non-locals allegedly involved in the transportation of the betel leaves were also seized by the locals. Police personnel from Khongjom and Thoubal rushed to the spot while the locals were preparing to burn the betel leaves and confiscated the vehicles. According to a local Meirapaibi, the raid was conducted spontaneously while maintaining Covid-19 regulations, and also expressed suspicion that the owner must have been carrying out various other illegal activities, questioning the presence of non locals and the constant vehicular activities to and from the brick field while the public is forced to stay indoors and even had to defer going for treatment of mild health problem fearing action by the security forces who are enforcing the lockdown. Terming the owner of the brick field as more dangerous than the Covid-19 virus, a local expressed trust in the state government and believes that those involved will be punished under law to the satisfaction of the public.    

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Imphal, May 18:
To ensure that the people of the State are provided with PDS items especially rice, the State Government continues distribution of rice allocated for the month of May, 2020 in certain Assembly constituencies (A/C) of the State. In Thoubal District, 2,268.82 quintal of rice under NFSA was distributed to the beneficiaries of Khangabok A/C and Lilong A/C today. Beneficiaries of Khangabok A/C were also distributed with 1,100 quintal of rice under PMGKAY and 407.3 quintal under OMSS. Apart from this, 3.5 quintal of rice under OMSS was distributed to NGOs in the District. Lifting of rice was done in the District on 17th May, 2020 for Lilong A/C (623.40 quintal under NFSA) and Khangabok A/C (1,100 quintal under PMGKAY). Thangmeiband A/C of Imphal West District had completely lifted its allocated 1600.85 quintal rice under under PMGKAY today. 3,046.4 quintal of rice under same scheme was distributed to beneficiaries of Sekmai A/C and Keishamthong A/C of the District. Tamenglong A/C reported lifting of 145 quintal of rice under OMSS and 477.40 quintal under NFSA from FCI Godown, Sangaiprou today. There was lifting of 20.32 quintal of dal under PMGKAY for Nungba A/C of Noney District. In Kakching District too, 1,744.46 quintal of rice under PMGKAY and 702.67 quintal under OMSS was lifted for its Wabagai A/C today. Ukhrul A/C had completely lifted its allocated quantity of NFSA rice with lifting of 1,169.25 quintal today. Lifting of PDS dal was reported in Imphal East District. 89.51 quintal and 20.47 quintal both under PMGKAY was lifted for Thongju A/C and Yaiskul A/C respectively today. Heingang A/C of the District reported lifting of 30.80 quintal of OMSS dal and 85.57 quintal under PMGKAY on 16th May, 2020. There was lifting of 1,753.80 quintal of rice under PMGKAY for Thongju A/C on 17th May, 2020. The State Government has been distributing PDS items under NFSA, PMGKAY and OMSS in all the districts of Manipur to ensure no one to suffer on account of non-availability of foodgrain during the ongoing lockdown in the State.

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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, May 19:
Three migrant workers and a driver of the bus died on the spot and 16 others injured when a state transport bus, carrying 32 migrant workers, crashed into a truck near Arni taluka in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district early on Tuesday morning. The injured have been shifted to a government-run hospital in Yavatmal,  a police official said. Yavatmal Superintendent of Police (SP) M Rajkumar  said, “The incident occurred early in the morning, at Arni taluka. The bus crashed into a truck from behind while trying to overtake. While 16 passengers have been taken to a local government hospital, first-aid was given to 12 other passengers, who sustained minor injuries.” Ironically the bus was specifically organised by labourers who were seen walking towards their native place. The labourers, belonging to Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, were walking from Solapur to their respective native places when the district authorities spotted them and organised a bus to ferry them to Maharashtra border, which is about 200 kilometres away from Yavatmal district, the SP added. The bus was travelling from Solapur towards Jharkhand. This is the latest in the series of accidents involving migrants labourers in the country as they are making their way home amid the lockdown clamped to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Before Tuesday’s accident, three migrant labourers were killed and more than 12 injured after a vehicle carrying them overturned on a highway late on Monday in Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba.

Published in News
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:34

5 arrested with wildlife meat and arms

IT News

Imphal, May 19:

Lamlai Police Station under the supervision of Inspector W. Devkumar Singh conducted a frisking and checking in front of the Lamlai PS gate along NH 202 to check Covid-19 Lockdown curfew violators. The team arrested five individuals along with wild animal meat and arms in the early morning around 1.30 am while on transit from Churchandpur to Urkhul. They are Ngamkholal Haokip 43 year son of Late Mangjathang Haokip of Shongphel, St Kamminlal Vaiphei 39 year son of Lenkhohao Vaiphei of Twisomjang , Lekhothang Haokip 40 year son of Thonglet Haokip of Shongphel Urkhul District , Lekhothang Haokip 40 year son of Late Ngamjatong haokip of  Mullam village Urkhul District  and Hemkhothang Mate 29 year son of Tongjang Mate of Twisomjang Village Senapati District.

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IT News

Imphal, May 19:

A Special train from Hyderabad ferrying  stranded Manipuris due to the nationwide lockdown, imposed to contain Covid-19 pandemic arrived Jiribam Railway Station today few minutes before 10 in the morning. All the returnees will be housed at Institutional or Community quarantine centres in their respective districts.

All the buses left for their respective destinations in between 10.40 am and 12 noon. The first bus with 8 passengers for Ukhrul district left at 10.43 am. Three buses for Churachandpur & Pherzawl districts carrying 48 passengers left at 10.45 am and another three buses for Tamenglong District with 53 passengers including one baby left at 10.56 am. One bus for Kangpokpi district with 33 passengers left at 11.18 am. 

One bus each for Kakching district with 24 passengers and Bishnupur district with 31 passengers and two buses for Chandel and Tengnoupal districts with 36 passengers left simultaneously at 11.23 am. 

One bus for Thoubal district with 22 passengers left at 11.30 am. Two buses for Senapati district with 31 passengers including one baby left at 11.44 am. Three buses for Imphal East and Kangjong districts with 61 passengers left at 11.54 am.

The returnees were screened at the Jiribam Railway Station and will have to remain in isolation at community quarantine centres for 14 days. Officials of Transport Department are being stationed at Jiribam Railway Station to facilitate the returnees. All the passengers boarded the buses after undergoing necessary screening process and other mandatory procedures.

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IT News
Imphal, May 19:
Under Atma Nirbhar Bharat package, Government of India has provided food grains free of cost at the rate of 5 Kg (rice or wheat) per person and one kilogram Channa per family per month for two months i.e. May and June 2020 to mitigate their plight and to ensure availability of food grains to them during the COVID-9 pandemic lockdown. About 8 Crore migrant labourers who are not covered under National Food Security Act or without a ration card in the State/UT in which they are stranded at present will be eligible. The Government of India will bear the entire cost of food grains, cost of intra-state transportation, dealers’ margin, etc.
Allocation has been made taking 10% of the total number of beneficiaries covered under NFSA in a particular state/UT which is the maximum limit of allocation under the scheme. Identification of beneficiaries and distribution of food grains to such beneficiaries will be the responsibility of respective state/UT government. The state may distribute the food grains among the stranded migrants as per actual basis or the entire allocated quantity, whichever is lesser.
The validity period for lifting of the additional allocation for the month of May 220 is up to 31.5.2020 and for June 2020 is up to 15.6.2020. However, allocation for June can also be lifted in advance during May 2020.
The allocation for Manipur under the scheme for two months is 2456.781 MT rice (May-June). The Government of Manipur has placed indent for the months of May and June with FCI and started lifting the food grain. As of today 63 MT has been lifted from FCI godown at Sangaiprou.

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By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi, May 19:
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued new testing protocol wherein patients who have mild symptoms of Covid-19 do not require testing at the time of discharge and the test will be mandatory only for the patients who were critical. In case of asymptomatic patients, the laboratories have been directed to test only those identified by fever clinics or outpatient sections of private and government hospitals, as per the circular issued on 13 May by the newly appointed Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal. The BMC has also said that no emergency surgery can be denied to patients by the doctors for want of Covid-19 testing. The BMC chief has also allowed home testing only in emergency cases. BMC, in a circular, said that it is issuing revised guidelines of testing by superseding all earlier circulars in light of the government of India and the state government issuing their revised discharge policy as per the categorisation of patients. As per the circular, “Testing of mild/very mild /pre-symptomatic cases shall not be required before the discharge if there are no symptoms seen on seventh, eighth and ninth days consecutively. In case of moderate symptomatic patients, testing shall not be required if the patient recovered clinically. Testing is required once before discharge in cases of critical patients and immune-compromised patients when they have no symptoms for three days.”
In the context of not denying urgent surgeries, the BMC circular has stated, “Only if there is a strong suspicion of Covid-19 in persons requiring elective surgery or surgery which can wait for 48 hours, a doctor can ask for Covid-19 test. No emergency surgeries should be denied to the patient for want of Covid-19 test.” BMC has also asked laboratories to not inform the patients about test results without informing the civic body. The laboratories have been asked to report all positive cases immediately, within one hour of results so that contact-tracing may be initiated at the earliest. For patients on regular haemodialysis, BMC has said that the test should not be asked as a routine before every procedure (dialysis). The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by Chahal stated that only symptomatic patients who are tested have to be institutionally quarantined. Further, tests for all symptomatic patients can be done only if they have been referred by a registered medical practitioner. The circular mentions that pregnant women, even if asymptomatic, should be tested. “Asymptomatic pregnant women should be tested in the facilities where they are expected to deliver.” The revised guidelines are expected to be helpful since the resources for testing and the infrastructure required are limited.

Published in News
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:30

Preparing for the long haul

The state government is handling the incoming natives who were stranded at different places around the country quite remarkably despite the initial apprehensions and uncertainties. For the last few days, thousands of natives are being received by the state with respect and care, and inspite of the few reported issues of hygiene in a few designated quarantine centres, the overall performance is still laudable. The number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state, contrary to initial estimates, remains at a very manageable level as of now and hopefully does not spike out of control. This is where the most precaution needs to be taken, for if recent turn of events is any indications, the initial positive response and developments as a result of the nationwide lockdown imposed in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic has been laid to waste due to a lack of coordinated and prudent follow-up plan. With more state natives coming back in the next few days, the question of the level of preparedness and proactive action laid down by the state government- if any, has gained momentum. There are times when being good is just not good enough and nothing but perfection matters, as in the case of sporting competitions of the highest order like the Olympics. This present fight against Covid-19 virus is one such instance. The state government should take the good and the bad and build an impenetrable defense without delay as stopping the inflow of state natives can never be the final solution nor a permanent plan. There were reports of people returning from other states flaunting SOPs and endangering the local populace along the way home. There had been instances when the state authority failing to receive the returnees and directing them to quarantine centres as per protocol resulting in confusion and much consternation. Such incidents must not be allowed to repeat ever again.
All it takes is a single slip of concentration or oversight for all the efforts and good works done so far to go down the drain. And in this present situation, such a lapse would mean the threat to the lives of uncountable people as the virus has proven to be adaptive, elusive and asymptomatic in the majority of cases. For a state with limited resources and challenging geo-political settings, this would mean a threat to the very existence of the state as a whole. Another cause for concern is the increasing sense of frustration and bureaucratic intervention being increasingly felt by the doctors and other frontline healthcare workers in the state, especially in rural and hilly areas. In a bid to politicize and gain personal mileage, the elected representatives often forcibly tag around the frontline medical workers along their ‘inspection tours’ overstretching the schedule of the already overstretched staffs and thereby increasing the chance of burn-out of these health workers as well as taking them away from their schedule. The issue of limited PPEs and other equipment and instruments is another sore point pointed out by a number of healthcare workers posted especially in the interior parts of the state. the storm is just beginning in the state, and the state authorities should coordinate and make preparations so that everybody can feel safe and we can all weather the storm for as long as it takes.

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By: Dr Mohd Mustaque Ahmed

The most taken care human part by this time is our hands. It is advised to frequently wash it.  We are not to touch by our hands toour faces including eyes, noses and mouths that often. We areall habituated to be touching our vital parts in the facial area most often. Many of us habitually prick our noses by using our fingers, don’t blame this universal habit. Although earlier miasma theory (bad air theory) was disapproved, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) once maintained neat & cleanliness and sanitizer. COVID-19 pandemic around this time, people have started accepting the theory of cleanliness by using mask and other accessories.
Practically I knew of a plant virus TMV(Tobacco Mosaic Virus) during my undergraduate classes. In the laboratory we were supplied with this virus. After the inoculation of this virus to a live plant it started to wither within some minutes. The result was so fast it was unimaginable. That we studied of a plant virus and the credit of discovering (1892) this virus goes to Iwanowski aka D. Ivanovsky(1864-1920).  Virus (virulent=poison or agent that causes infectious disease) is smaller than bacteria and it lives as a parasite in the host living organisms and it is an acellular in nature. The reality is that virus does not survive out of its host except culturing it in an artificial nutrient medium.  
After the discovery of Electron Microscope (1931) by E.Ruska and M.Knoll, it came to know the size and structure of a virus. Virus has protein coats and either DNA or RNA but not both. Later Stanley deciphered more about TMV & proteins and F.Bawden & N.Pirie studied more about proteins and DNA of a Virus.  We heard of the deadliest viruses for e.g. Nipah virus, SARS, Ebola, Hepatitis, Cholera, Plague and HIV,all of which produces killer diseases.Thus we recognize the history of pandemic killing humansacross countries in millions associated with diseases. Historically, other deadliest killer viral diseases happened viz.Antonine Plague(165 AD),Plague of Justinian (541-524 AD), Black death(1346-1353), Flu Pandemic (1889-1890), 3rd Cholera Pandemic(1852-1860),6th Cholera Pandemic (1899-1923),  Flu Pandemic (1910 to 1911), Flu Pandemic (1918), Asian Flu (1956-1958), Flu Pandemic (1968) and HIV( peak years 2005 to 2012). These took human lives in millions. Seeing the data below human deaths resulted most from Bubonic plague (Small pox, Typhoid, Typhus) and Flu(influenza virus) and HIV/AIDS. There are complexities in the path of therapeutic development that we cannot cure HIV viruses till date.
Table 1: History of human deaths by viral epidemic/pandemic condition
In ancient timethe humans were so helpless that epidemic or pandemic conditions brought ravaged of human beings and the civilizations were distorted. In 3000 BC in one of the devastation in China the death bodies were buried in mass graves or the houses consisting of many deaths were burnt down. One of its archaeological signatures of a mass grave consisting heaps of skeletons in ‘Hamin Mangha’ is still valid. It is said that this place in China was not inhabited again. Second thing, in the history the bubonic plague(may be typhoid, small pox and typhus) of Athens (541-524 AD) could be remembered which killed one by third (1 million) of its total population (3 million). It was recorded to have started south of Ethiopia. It left the famous Spartan(Greece) civilization stunned. Because it’s heroic army were totally decimated.
In the history of development of vaccine we cannot forget the contributions of Edward Jenner (1749-1823) and Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). The first one produced vaccine (1796) against cowpox and the second person produced the vaccines against cholera (1897) & anthrax vaccine of humans (1904) respectively. Then there came the invention of the vaccine against bubonic plague by W.Haffkine by the year 1897 during Bombay plague.
Modern means like Next generation sequencing(NGS) and Metagenomic approaches(MGA) have known viral novelties including new virus like a COVID-19 or novel Coronavirus or SARS CoV-2. But this time the character of the virus is typical. It can survive out of the host for some hours to some days. Like some other communicable diseases it belongs to family. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) are virus of the same family of COVID-19 and the latter isdifficult to deal with. COVID-19 infects lungs,airways associated with high fever, fatigueand dry cough.Symptoms may be associated with sore throat, chest congestion and runny nose also.  Structurally this has a typical spherical shape and outward projections of similar typewhich are different from other viruses. It is believed that it might have been originatedfrom a bat, swine and pangolin, yet, it is to be confirmed. Genetically the virus is very near to these animals. How this has been transmitted to humans is still a mystery. But, the question remains whether it’s a mutated form of SARS Corona virus or novel one. However, it has been recently recognized by scientist that it’s a novel one.
Table 2: Present scenario of humans affected by COVID-19
We are having reports that till date there have been 12, 000 deaths, 1,90,000 still active  and 3 lakhsconfirmed cases due to this virus worldwide(21/3/20, Washington Post). It is retrieved from the information that China way of blocking the spread of this disease is very determined and serious. Even some states in China have not been reached by this disease. The way it spreads to other countries is very fast and swift. It affected numerous countries because the world is becoming a global village. Surprisingly, we could see more human deaths in country like Italy.
Now the world will experience economical slow-down as predicted. Yes, there will be bad economical experience everywhere which will be borderless. There isan already political blame gamewith there is a suspicion theory that the virus has been created by China. This theory believes that it escaped from its testing laboratory and blah blah. Whatever it may be the human efforts are undergoing worldwide to bring to a halt to further spread of this virus. I believe this scientific effort will bring positive result and human beings will be blessed again. The situation is not at all scary that the affected persons have been cured by using medicines like Chloroquin, Lopinavir and Ritonavir. Therefore, the effort will require a lot of political courage, policies, awareness, financial input, togetherness and patience. In short, the world has to be united to mitigate the problematic virus for all time to come.  
(The writer is an Assistant Professor at Dept. of Botany, United College, Lambung, Chandel)

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