Saturday, 21 March 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, March 21

A day after visiting Khwairamband Keithel area, Paona Keithel and Thangal Keithel area to sensitize the public on the impact of pandemic Coronavirus across the globe, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today paid a surprise visit to Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS)to check the preparedness being taken up for fighting the pandemic COVID-19

Even as no positive case has been found in the state of Manipur, the Chief Minister expressed satisfaction to the way that both the authorities of the hospitals have been preparing to fight the disease if it reaches Manipur. At both JNIMS and RIMS the chief Minister inquired about the requirement of preparing to face the pandemic. JNIMS at present has prepared to open 30 bedded isolation wards while RIMS is all set to open 40 bedded isolation wards in addition to the existing one. The shortage of Ventilators was min concern for both the hospitals.

Talking to the Chief Minister RIMS Director Shanta brief the Chief Minister regarding the measures being taken up by the hospital and incidentally, the Chief Minister was informed that he reached the institution only some few minutes after the Director RIMS, MS and other head of department had concluded a meeting for tackling the pandemic COVID -19.

“I am happy that the RIMS authority is taking this issue with extreme seriousness”, Chief Minister said talking to media persons.

Regarding shortage of ventilators, RIMS director Shanta said that some months back RIMS had order 76 ventilators and it still is not dispatching. As of now, there are 20 stock available at some of the pharmaceutical companies as informed by the RIMS authority and Chief Minister without delay told the authority to procured the 20 ventilators without delay.

“Let’s buy those 20 ventilators as soon as possible and keep 10 at JNIMS and the remaining 10 at RIMS”, Biren said.

He added that even though the state still has not found any positive case it is the need of the hour to prepare whatever we can.

Regarding those who entered the state either through air route or land route, the Chief Minister said that they will be kept under quarantined at the respective route that they entered.

“We have set up quarantined facilities at Airport road for those coming by air and at Mao for those coming to that side and also at Jiribam and Moreh”.

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Imphal, March 21

It was all about taking up precautionary measures, but for the first time in the history of Manipur, IMC authority showed extreme seriousness in keeping the Khwairamband Keithel area zero garbage zone. Police too extended all support to the IMC authority and even help clean the surrounding. Bleaching powder and Phenyl were sprinkled at the drainage and surrounding areas and the IMC authority clean almost all garbage piled up in and around the Khwairamband area for weeks.

What is more interesting is the co-operation showed by the Keithel ladies who have always criticized and opposed any such announcement by the earlier government.

The Chief Minister while talking to the vendor ladies yesterday seem surprised that he would receive so much support from the Keithel ladies in the fight against COVID 19.

“You don’t need to shut all shops selling essential items, our government has no such order, what we appeal is to restrain mass gathering at the shop as well as to provide hand sanitizers”, N. Biren said.

For those daily wage earners who live on hand to mouth at Khwairamband Keithel, the government is planning to add compensation to their account, Chief Minister said while talking to some of the concerned citizens.

He also appealed to people not to panic as there is no shortage of food grain and the government is planning to distribute it at their doorsteps.

Published in News
Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:48

Naga Republic day

IT News
Imphal March 21

The Naga StudentFederation this year is celebrating its republic day in a curtailed yet symbolic manner, due to the covid 19 pandemic.
 The students; body pay homage to all who had laid down their lives in the service of the nation.
The Federation, in a statement expressed serious concern to the ever widening divide in our Naga society today.
“We can ill afford this during this critical juncture of our long political journey which has been sustained with blood, sweat and tears beyond borders by all Nagas.
At this critical phase, the NSF appreciates the NSCN -IM and the NNPG and all political groups’ dynamic leadership for all the contributions they have made towards furthering the Naga cause.” the statement said.
 That said, the palpable differences in ideology and approach between the groups have been doing the Naga society much harm than good despite all that they’ve achieved on different negotiating tables. It is the collective aspiration of the Naga youth and student community, for both the negotiating groups to shed their differences and come on a common  platform, to find the best possible path and solution  for the Nagas in the present political circumstances, with out losing the unique political history of the Nagas for a lasting peace in the region. We sincerely  appeal the political groups to forge a unified front in the interest of those who will inherit the out come of the political negotiation.
The future of the Naga society cannot be subjected to the nefarious whims of those seeking to divide and fragment us, but focus on confidence building measures to enhance brotherhood and camaraderie.
The NSF appeals the leaders of all the Naga political groups to shed aside their ego, mistrust and everything that is preventing  them from coming together as one entity. The time has come for both the negotiating teams to bring whatever has been agreed upon and mutually accepted in one table, carry out deep dive study, compare and contrast to deliberate the ones which will best serve the interest of the Naga people. They should be ably assisted by panel of Naga experts who have proven track record in the field of  Politics, Administration, Finance, Education, Constitutional, Developmental etc. In order to ensure and cater to the socio-economic imbalances in all Naga inhabited areas, as non inclusive policy adopted would only make the entire process shallow.  
It is our genuine belief that unless this process is initiated and carried out in the true spirit of Naga unity and Naga public aspiration for permanent peace in all Naga inhabited areas, the solution to the Naga issue will aloof us .The guiding principle should uncompromisingly remain ‘ one issue , one solution’, and it is possible only if there is clear political clarity on post accord arrangements  and deep political understanding of the subject and not flimsy assumptions.
The NSF, further, appeals the Government of India under the able and dynamic leadership  of Shri. Narendra Modi for the political Will to conclude the vexed Naga political issue. The GoI should now refrain from any divide and rule policy, instead change its approach based on its true merit and create a bonhomie environment to facilitate the process for early solution based on what ever has been agreed, as any reversion would only delay the process. The Naga people bank on the sincerity of GOI to bring forth a solution that is inclusive, honourable and acceptable as per the legitimate right of the Nagas.
In conclusion the NSF reiterates its earlier message to the Naga masses to remain united, show unconditional love towards each other, respect each others differences and limitations with humility and together with Christ, forge towards our ultimate goal till its logical conclusion.

Published in News

IT News
Dimapur, March 21

When the entire world was suffering silently under the dark shadow of death, academic institutions all over India and the world were closing down due to the threat of CoronaVirus, one college in a distant part of northeast India in the state of Nagaland shifted its entire campus online with a positive intention to continue learning and also to take learning and teaching to a whole new level for students and faculty members.
Tetso College in Dimapur, Nagaland set up its first-ever virtual Campus in digital world via Google Hangouts Meet. The courageous move comes within 48 hours after the state government on March 16 declared to close down all educational institutions in the state as a preventive measure to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic. The example of virtual campus in the ever evolving digital world set up by Tetso College will inspire not only other colleges in Nagaland or northeast region but also academic institutions in different parts of India.

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IT News
New Delhi March 21

Twenty-two fresh Covid-19 cases were reported in India on Saturday, taking the total number of people infected by the Sars-Cov-2 virus in the country to 258 even as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued guidelines for a new testing strategy for effective tracking of patients.
Himachal Pradesh (two cases) and Madhya Pradesh (four cases) are the newest entrants to the list of affected places. At present, infections have been found in 22 states and Union Territories.
On Saturday, Kerala reported the highest increase, with 12 new cases. Of these, seven cases involved Indians and five foreign nationals, according to the health ministry data.
Kerala was followed by Delhi, which recorded nine cases, taking the total count in the city-state to 26.
On Friday, India saw the sharpest increase in the number of Covid-19 cases on a single day, with a total of 63 cases being confirmed within 24 hours by the health ministry.
So far, four people — one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra — have died of the viral infection with flu-like symptoms.
The ministry’s data also shows that one person with the disease has “migrated”. This case involved a 44-year-old Delhi man, according to officials. He returned from Singapore in February, travelled to Canada in March, later gave a sample for testing in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and took a flight back to Singapore before the test returned positive.
India reported its first Covid-19 case on January 30, the same day the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Two more cases were reported in the next couple of days; all three were medical students from Wuhan, the Chinese city believed to be the epicentre of the outbreak, who returned to their hometown in Kerala. All three have recovered.
After a lull, cases of Covid-19 surfaced again in early March — the first one in the national capital — and the number of cases increased ever since.
ICMR has so far tested 15,404 samples from across the country. The numbers are likely to go up with the apex medical research body revising its testing criteria on Friday.
It now includes direct or close contacts of anyone who tested positive even if they do not have symptoms and all hospitalised cases of severe acute respiratory infections.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences director Randeep Guleria, who chairs the ICMR expert committee on testing criteria of Covid-19, said: “With the numbers rising, we have changed the case definition of people being tested to include asymptomatic contacts of positive treating Covid-19 and SARI cases. Now all pneumonia patients must also be notified to NCDC or IDSP so that they can be tested for Covid-19 for community transmission surveillance.”

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Pandemic coronavirus issue has indeed haunted people across the world. Every country across the globe have taken up extra measures to avoid the spread of virus by framing their policy. India is no exception, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government is taking up extra measures to avoid the spread of the disease through various means and advice all states and  Union Territories to take up extra measures in addition to the health advisory from the concern department. The pandemic COVID -19 is becoming a serious issue of the world and recent measures being taken up by the state government of Manipur need to be appreciated. Even though the kind of precautionary measures sees some loophole, the effort needs to be appreciated by one and all. At this crucial hour criticism is not a good idea instead , people who felt that more measures need to be taken up should suggest through proper channel. After all the Chief Minister of Manipur had already opens his door to welcome any constructive suggestion to fight the disease. Well it is the blessing of the almighty that Manipur still have no positive case of person infected by the disease.
Now what we in the Imphal Times would like to suggest is to conduct mass testing of blood sample as there are possibilities of persons with the virus as WHO had stated person with the virus showed symptoms after 14 days. Those screen at Imphal Airport or any land route entry need to be quarantined for at least 14 days by distancing him or her from people, be it his or her family members.
When schools and colleges have been shut down till March 31 and when offices are advised to reduce staff attendance and when all sort of gathering in connection with festival or rituals have been directed to stop, what worried to almost all the people of the state is the suffocated Khwairambandh Kwithel, which is being run by elderly women. According to WHO elderly people are easily attack by the dreaded virus and as a matter of fact people who have some idea of the virus have been appealing the government to focus at this area.
It was lucky for the people of the state that, Chief Minister himself visited the market areas of Imphal particularly the surroundings of the Khwairambandh Keithel instead of sending his staffs.
He was there yesterday to do something for avoiding the spread of virus but one never expected that the vendor lady will be convinced to shut down the Keithel for at least 3 days.
COVID scare indeed turn out to be another blessing for the people of the state as well as the fate of the historic Khwairambandh Ima Keithel.
Chief Minister himself notice the irresponsible attitude of both the MAHUD and the IMC authority. The filth garbage piling up in and around the Khwairambandh Ima Keithel and the irregular traffic parking system and the failed drainage were not simple make up complaints to defame his government. The Chief Minister had known that as he had seen it.
A day after his visit and after the vendor ladies extended their co-operation to his government to shut down the Keithel for three days, IMC and MAHUD today started cleaning the surroundings of the Khwairambandh Keithel. Police team were also encouraged with the kind of support they received from the public. City Police OC along with his higher officials , the Additional SP, SDP traffic all were seen engaging in their work – but this time it was about keeping the surroundings of Khwairambandh Ima Keithel. The city police OC collected dozens of Phenyl bottles and Bleaching powders to kill any sort of virus or bacteria or say any worms that have the potential of affecting people. Today we saw Khwairambandh Keithel area and its periphery clean. But what is expected is to continue the kind of activities even after issue of coronavirus is over.
This newspaper suggest Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to visit Khwairambandh Keithel at least once in a week if possible, or at least once in two weeks to personally find out  whether the complaints from the public are true or not. Lets’ hope the COVID-19 scar change Manipur by making it the most clean city in the world.  

Published in Editorial
Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:43

Who will rebuild Chahsat village?

By- T S Haokip

The Manipur Government’s decision to assist victims of #ChasatBurning with Rs. 3 Lakhs per household would surely be  appreciated by all had the amount so sanctioned was meant to build toilets and bathrooms only. Sadly, the amount  is the total assistance to be provided to each household-  including costs for building house, toilet, bathroom and buying necessary items like clothes, furnitures and utensils.
The cost of building a house is flexibly calculated depending on the beneficiaries. It is interesting that Government spent tens  of Lakhs for the construction of its offices but deemed it sufficient for Rs 3 Lakhs to meet the expenditures for building a house for a family with an average 5 persons. We are not aware of the rationale and method of calculation as to how the amount was arrived at, but it is without doubt insufficient to meet even half of the cost for constructing a simple livable house. While the task of restoring Chahsat will require sincere efforts of different measures from the Government, apart from building houses, it has failed to meet even basic requirements of rehabilitation; providing a house.
 It is only pertinent to ask if the Government has made any arrangements; as to where, what and how the homeless villagers sleep, eat and live all these while. The expenditure per household before their house is built, which will take 5 to 6 months, will comfortably be above Rs. 1 lakh. Now the Government’s decision of releasing 50% of Rs. 3 Lakhs will only be enough for ‘day to day’ expenses untill the house is built. Then, who will build the houses for the villagers of Chahsat? Since the Manipur Government, apart from the Kamjong and Sampui Tangkhul villagers, is responsible for the complete wipe out of Chahsat, inspite of the presence of a Police station, whose personnel were just mute spectators if not supporters of the arson, it is the Government’s duty to rebuild Chahsat.
Rebuilding Chahsat will require sincere initiatives to reconcile the two communities; Tangkhuls and Kukis. This process will require unconditional apologies from the erring communities for the burning of Chahsat village. Blaming the proverbial third person- ‘unknown person’, as done by the Government in its Press statement will not resolve the issue. It has infact emboldened the perpetrators even to the extent of justifying the arson.
While the absence of ‘condemnation to the incident and show of solidarity to the homeless’ from valley based organizations speaks the general attitude of the valley towards incident in the Hills even in times of losses, many people even from other states feel and share the pain of the villagers by way of voluntary contributions of foods, clothes and medicines. Social responsibility among communities is voluntary and depends on one’s principle and concern for humanity as a whole and as such the same is not binding to any one for that matter. But the Government on the hand should not excused itself from its prime duties; of working for the people.
The Govt. should ensure that the villagers have a house over their roof at the earliest and must acknowledge with actions that restoration of Chahsat village should not only be about building houses. Restoring the faith and trust of the people on the Government and ensuring their safety and protection, which was not accomplished with the presence of both State and Central SFs and ensuring the award of befitting and exemplary punishment to perpetrators of the crime should be of paramount importance. The Government should uphold its profound responsibility as representative of all the people of Manipur irrespective of the community one belongs to, through its actions.

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