Complete statewide lockdown, curfew announced; safety protocol violators to be fined
IMPHAL: In view of the disturbing increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, the Cabinet has given its sign of approval to impose a complete lockdown and curfew in the state for 7 days starting from 2:00 PM of Thursday. It can, however, be extended by another 7 days depending on the situation, CM Biren said Wednesday.
The emergency cabinet meeting was held at the Chief Minister cabinet hall with Chief Minister N Biren in the Chair.
Addressing reporters at CM Bungalow afterwards, N Biren said that his Government was compelled to re-impose the complete lockdown and curfew as a necessary step for protection of the life of the people from the deadly virus.
He said that part of the reason that the administration had to resort to taking up stringent measures like imposition of curfew during the lockdown was the failure of people in the state to follow the SOP, safety protocols with discipline. Saving the lives of the people is the top priority of the Government, he added.
Initially, the lockdown and curfew will be imposed for a probationary period of 7 days as an observation of the situation. If there is aggravation in the extent of infection, the restriction will be extended for another 7 days, the CM announced.
The cabinet also decided to impose some penalties to those who discard safety protocols and guidelines laid down by the Government. Any inmate found violating the protocols at quarantine centre will be fined Rs.1000. A sum of Rs.200 will be fined if anybody is found venturing out without face masks and failing to maintain social distancing in public places like shops, petrol pumps etc. On the other hand, Rs 500 will be fined if anybody is found spitting in public places and Rs 200 fine for spitting after eating pan and other tobacco products. A fine of Rs. 10,000 will be imposed for unauthorized gathering if there are more persons than the prescribed capacity at any ceremony and function.
Taking into account the surging COVID-19 cases in the state, the cabinet also approved engagement of 100 doctors for six months to man the COVID care centres on a daily wage basis of Rs. 2500. Earlier, the state cabinet had approved appointment of 300 doctors through MPSC. The cabinet also decided to engage 90 nurses, 60 Multi Tasking staff to man the COVID care centres on a daily wage basis.
Stating that we should not take the virus lightly as some states have reported casualties cases due to the virus, the chief minister said that self-precaution measures like maintaining social distancing, wearing face mask, health hygiene and following the safety protocols are the only means to stay safe from the virus.
Stating that essential services like medical, police, media and others will be exempted from the purview of the lockdown, the chief minister stated that mass attendance of Government employees in office will be restricted.
The Chief Minister said that the state is witnessing an improved recovery rate of 68 percent and there is no casualty case.
Stating that the government is closely monitoring the situation from time to time, Biren Singh mentioned that out of the total 2105 cases, a total of 1600 persons have been recovered from the disease and the present active cases stands at 615. The recovery rate is around 68 % and around 73,000 persons have been tested for COVID-19 in the State till now, he added.
The Chief Minister said that to facilitate COVID-19 patients in the State, the total number of beds available at Covid Care Centres is 1289. Another 300-500 beded Covid Care Centre (CCC) at Lamboikhongnangkhong, Imphal West, 100 beded CCC at Jiribam and Kangpokpi being built will be completed soon.
Biren Singh highlighted that around 8000 persons are being quarantined at Institutional Quarantine Centres and around 1700 persons at Community Quarantine Centres in the State. He further mentioned that the Cabinet also decided to recruit 100 doctors, 90 nurses and 60 multi tasking staffs to combat COVID-19 on daily wages for a period of 6 months.