Imphal, March 20
Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh said that the primary concern of the government, at this hour, is to protect and save the lives of the people, economy and others can be considered later on. This was stated by him at a press conference held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
Addressing the media persons, the Chief Minister stated that the COVID-19 should not be taken lightly as it hasn’t reached Manipur instead people should follow the precautionary measures and norms laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government. He also added that prevention is the best way to fight the disease from spreading.
Chief Minister urged people of the State to give their full support and cooperation to fight pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19). He assured that all steps necessary are being taken to ensure that there is no shortage of essential items like groceries, fuel and medicines in the State. He urged the people to make purchases as normal, and not hoard essential items in panic buying.
Biren Singh maintained that the State government has already taken precautionary measures to fight COVID-19 since 18thJanuary 2020. He expressed his happiness that people have extended their support to the government to fight the virus. Chief Minister further appealed the people of the State to abide the precautionary measures announced by the Prime Minister yesterday.
The Chief Minister stated that the next 2-3 weeks will be very crucial for all of us and we must support and help each other to fight the deadly disease. He opined that we should stay away from crowds and gatherings, avoid leaving homes and maintain social distancing. He also appealed that the elderly, senior citizens and those above 65 years of age to remain indoors and not to leave their homes for the next few weeks.
Mentioning that people should support the nationwide ‘Janata Curfew’, announced by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on 22nd March 2020, Chief Minister said that during this curfew, no one should neither leave their homes, nor get onto the streets or roam about our localities. On that same day, at 5 p.m., we should also express our sincere gratitude and solidarity to those people such as doctors and nurses etc. who are working at the frontline to fight the disease by clapping our hands and cheering for them. He further added that this curfew will not be enforced using security personnel, rather it should be a ‘self-curfew’ which is being imposed by ourselves.
The Chief Minister further maintained that in compliance with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India, the State government will also initiate certain measures to decongest workspaces to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. The Chief Minister’s Secretariat will issue an order regarding departments to require only 50% of their employees to attend office on alternate days (except for those who are dealing with matters related to financial transaction for Financial year). The HODs are advised to prepare a roster that will require such employees to be in office, he added.
Biren Singh also urged the people to avoid any unnecessary religious functions and rituals and avoid mass climbing of Cheirao Ching on Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year).He advised those persons who have recently visited the infected countries to follow self quarantine procedures at home.
Clarifying on the steps taken by the state government to bring back the students from the State stuck at Philippines, Chief Minister said that the State government has already apprised the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India to take necessary steps for evacuating the stranded Manipuri students. The State government has also asked the family of those students to submit the details and other information of the students to the government.
Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) V. Vumlunmang, Secretary to Chief Minister Ningthoujam Geoffrey, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Irengbam Arun and others attended the press conference.
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