Cabinet decides to close all markets in Imphal, periphery

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 6th May: The state cabinet has decided to close down all important markets in Imphal and adjoining areas until further orders. The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting convened Wednesday with chief minister N Biren Singh in the chair.
The decision has come within a couple of days after some areas in Imphal city, with exception to the three Khwairamband (Ima) markets and Ngari Galli, were relaxed partially from the lockdown as the state figured in Green Zone category as per the advisory released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on COVID-19 pandemic few days back.
Taking serious view of breach of lockdown protocol and violation of social distancing by large number of people when certain areas in Imphal city were re-opened in the past two days, the state cabinet decided to close down all important markets in Imphal again to prevent spread of COVID-19, a reliable source informed.
According to the source, almost all the ministers attended the state cabinet meet held from 10am at CM secretariat and reviewed lockdown measures and discussed in depth about evacuation of state natives stranded outside and formalities to be maintained at quarantine centres.
The state cabinet decided that government will provide the train fare for state natives returning from other states of the country up to NE states and make arrangements for their return to the state but every evacuee has to bear travelling cost from NE states to the state capital on their own.
In view of many people coming to the state and as a measure to prevent spread of COVID-19, the state cabinet decided to close down Paona bazar and Thangal bazar apart from the three Ima markets in Imphal city and all other markets in Imphal valley area. The restriction, however, will not cover markets in rural areas of the state.
The cabinet also decided to provide Rs 200 per day to each individual who stays at quarantine centres after returning from outside apart from medical facility provided to them.
In another agenda discussed at the meet, the state cabinet approved provision of Non Performing Allowance (NPA) for doctors serving in state health department and special pay to doctors.
In a video message uploaded on social media immediately after the cabinet meet, chief minister N Biren Singh said some markets in Imphal area were reopened as per MHA advisory after the state had no COVID-19 positive case and figured in Green Zone category. However, large number of people gathered at markets many of whom violated of social distancing norm and came without mask. Situation in markets of Imphal city the previous day coupled with detection of 380 COVID-19 positive cases in a market in Chennai and spread of the virus among CRPF personnel in Tripura, Assam, Shillong and New Delhi prompted state government to take extra vigil and close down the markets again, Biren said in the video message.
Appealing people to follow lockdown measures effectively, the chief minister said many state natives stranded outside will return soon but MLAs of every constituency and local clubs had made arrangements to set up quarantine centres in their respective constituencies and health officials including commissioner and deputy commissioners are making spot inspections. He also appealed families of those returning from outside to provide beds though medical items like sanitizer and masks will be provided by medical department.
The chief minister further appealed to entire people of the state to bear lockdown-related inconveniences till May 17 and to stay home and state government as usual has been making every effort to provide food at door steps of every homes whether the Union government provides or not. He also called for a united fight against COVID-19 pandemic with the spirit of saving human lives in the forefront. He also said that security vigil along border with Myanmar has been intensified with adequate deployment of security personnel and awareness to villagers inhabiting in border areas.
He also said that many nurses of the state are working at different hospitals in other states with dedication and state government is considering steps to encourage them if they happen to contract and succumb to the virus.


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