‘Precautionary measures upped, remain indoors’

STAFF REPORTER

IMPHAL, 24th Mar: Following o cial con rma- tion of a COVID-19 case in the state, Health Minister L Jayantakumar has stated that the a ected patient is being examined in the isolation ward of JNIMS, while adding that the state government has upped all precau- tionary measures.

Addressing media persons at Ba- bupara here Tuesday, Jayantaku- mar appealed to the public not to panic over the o cial con rmation of COVID-19 patient in the state. However, he urged people to take preventive measures and avoid public gathering, while lauding all for following the measures in their respective localities.

Regarding the patient, the minister informed that patient is pursuing her studies in the United Kingdom while her younger brother is studying in the United States. Although the siblings returned to the state together, the younger brother has not displayed

any positive symptoms of COVID-19. After the patient tested positive for COVID-19, all remaining 6 members of the family are being quarantined at UNACCO School, Meitram, which had already been designated as a quaran- tine centre by the state government.

Additionally, the state government has initiated process to identify and carry out due investigation of all passengers who landed at Imphal airport with the patient on March 21 on-board the Air Asia ight. e said passengers will be isolated and

quarantined for 14 days to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and to ascertain if they have contracted the virus or not, the minister said. 

Jayantakumar also informed that all entry and exit points of the state have been sealed, in addition to imposition of curfew. A 24X7 control room was opened at the CM Bun- galow on Monday to monitor the situation in the state. e government is also trying to procure additional stocks of masks, hand sanitizers and PPEs and if required, to import the same through military air- crafts. Furthermore, the state cabinet on Monday discussed if the ministers and MLAs could donate a month's salary or to cut a month's pay of govern- ment employees to combat the outbreak, in light of the state's poor nancial conditions.

Informing that e orts are underway to procure the much-needed ventilators, the minister said that presently, there are 5-6 ventilators in JNIMS while RIMS has 4 ven-

tilators.
e government has also

ordered 6 more ventilators, which would be arriving soon. On top of this, process has been initiated to procure portable ventilators and addi- tional testing kits for remote areas, he added.

Although Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended use of hydroxy-chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19, Jayantakumar said that the medicine is not a cure for the disease. Nonetheless, the gov- ernment has begun stocking up on the medicine.

Appealing to the people to follow the precautionary measures strictly such as avoiding public gathering and practising social distancing as much as possible, the minister said that these measures are not permanent.

"What is more important right now is to curb the spread

of the disease and prevent loss of human life", he said, while urging the people to excuse their relatives or local MLAs for not attending religious functions or rituals.

He further urged those who have recently returned to the state not to hide their travel histories, while adding that psychologists have been as- signed to provide counselling to those a ected by the dis- ease and their families.

"Just because one has been diagnosed with the disease does not mean that he/she would surely die. Many have recovered from the disease with good treatment meth- ods", Jayantakumar asserted.

The minister then ap- pealed to the people not to discriminate families of those a ected by COVID-19, con- tending that the patients did not knowingly contract the disease nor was it due to im- moral activities.


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