Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced on Sunday extension of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown till June 30. Stating that lockdown was one of the preventive measures to stop further spread of the disease, Singh maintained the decision to extend the curbs was taken to save the lives of the people.
He said the operations of the MSME sector, agriculture and horticulture related activities, and work under the NREGA will be allowed during the lockdown.
However, social distancing norms, advisories and protocols laid down by WHO and the Health Ministry must be obeyed by the people, Singh said.
The chief minister also announced that a 100-bed dedicated COVID-19 hospital would be set up within 10 days in the state.
Highlighting some of the measures taken up by the government to tackle the pandemic, he said the number of tests in the laboratories at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) here have increased to above 1,000 tests daily and thermal scanners have been installed at Imphal airport.
Singh stated that the government has directed the chief medical officers of all districts to recruit volunteers and trained nurses.
The number of institutional and community quarantine centres has also been increased so as to accommodate the natives who are returning from different states, he added.
Urging the people not to panic, the chief minister said there was no community transmission of the disease in the state till now. He said that around 28,000 people who were stranded in various parts of the country have been brought back to the state.
The meetings of Manipur State Consultative Committee for COVID-19 were being held every week to discuss the present situation and chalk out plans to fight COVID-19 in the state, he said.
COVID-19 awareness leaflets have been published in around 24 different tribal dialects, Singh said.
The chief minister said 71 COVID-19 cases have been detected so far in the state out of which 11 patients have recovered. He wished a speedy recovery to all the patients who undergoing treatment.
Singh also thanked the efforts of the frontline workers, mediapersons and students' organisations, among others, for their support in fighting the pandemic.
Later, he congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the firts anniversary his second term. Singh expressed gratitude to the Modi-led government for fulfilling the "long-cherished dream of the people" of Manipur by extending Inner Line Permit system to the state.