11.8 crore government school students have been covered under a one-time special aid announced by the Centre, even as the state Chief Minister N Biren has announced that mass Covid-19 testing is to begin soon in the state, and the lockdown in seven districts of the state has been extended till June 11 with some relaxations. During the week the CM also inaugurated an oxygen plant each at JNIMS Hospital and Churachandpur District Hospital.
Mass COVID-19 Testing in Manipur Soon
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on May 27 announced that a mass testing for COVID-19 in all parts of the state will begin soon. He made the announcement while interacting with COVID-19 patients under home isolation through a video conferencing at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Imphal.
Reports said that the CM mentioned that as early detection and early medication is the key to flatten the COVID-19 curve, 50,000 RAT kits had been recently distributed to different districts and another 1 lakh kits had been ordered for procurement.
Special Aid to 11.8 Cr Govt School Students
The Government of India on May 28 said a one-time special financial assistance will be provided to about 11.8 crore children studying in class 1 to 8 in the 11.20 lakh government-run schools across India.
Reports said the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has approved the proposal to provide monetary assistance to 11.8 crore students through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cooking cost component of the Mid-Day-Meal Scheme, to all eligible children.
This is in addition to the distribution of free-of-cost food grains @ 5 kg per person per month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY).
The Ministry said that the Centre will provide additional funds of about Rs. 1200 crore to state governments and UT administrations for this purpose.
Curfew Extended till June 11
The Manipur government on May 28 extended the curfew imposed in the seven districts – Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching, Churachandpur and Ukhrul – for 14 more days amid continuous surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state.
Vehicle workshops of goods trucks, petrol tankers, LPG bullets and others outside the Imphal Municipal area may open from 8 am to 3 pm on all days and rice mills are also allowed to open subject to taking adequate precaution and strictly following Covid Appropriate Behaviour, it said.
The order further permitted opening of local vegetable vendors from 7 am to 10 am for purchase by the locals on May 30, June 2, June 5 and June 8 where the vegetable vendors should be seated away from one another and should wear mask all the time.
The order stated that one out of three grocery shops of the total shops or vendors in one location shall be allowed to open on rotational basis from 7 am to 10 am on May 30, June 2, June 5 and June 8. The wholesale shops of grocery and food essentials located in Thangal Bazaar and Masjid Road will be allowed to open from 7am to 12 noon as per schedule.
The scheduled are: Thangal Bazar will be open for retailers of Imphal West and Masjid Road will be open for Imphal East on May 31; Thangal Bazar will be open for Senapati and Kangpokpi and Masjid Road for Kamjong and Noney on June 1; Thangal Bazar will be open for Ukhrul and Bishnupur and Masjid Road for Tamenglong on June 3; Thangal Bazar for Thoubal and Kakching and Masjid Road for Chandel and Tengnoupal on June 4; Thangal Bazar for Churachandpur and Masjid Road for Pherzawl and Jiribam on June 6 and Thangal Bazar for Imphal West and Masjid Road for Imphal East on June 7, the order stated.
Strict ban on vehicular movement will continue even during 7 am to 10 am and the three Nupi Keithels, its adjoining markets and the local markets at Khurai Lamlong, Andro Parking, Lambulane, Kongba, Pishum thong, Kwakeithel, Nagamapal, Singjamei Bazar, Wahengbam Leikai and other major markets in other districts shall remain closed, the order said.
Manipur Farmers Protest Farm Laws
In protest against the three controversial farm laws, farmers in Manipur observed ‘black day’ across the state on May 26, supporting the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha’s call to mark the completion of six months of the stir against the three farm laws.
The three laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.
A release of Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Manipur said youth and students, women and workers particularly the farmers joined the movement at different places of the state by displaying placards which raised the farmers’ demands, reports said.
The leadership of the Farmer’s Joint Action Committee, Manipur and supporting organisations of the movement express their gratitude to the people of the state for supporting the National Black Day, the release stated.
Medical Student Dies in Road Mishap
An undergraduate medical student of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) died in a road mishap that occurred around 12.30 pm on May 25 along Langol road, Lamphelpat, Imphal (also known as Shija Hospital road) near the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Manipur.
Reports said the deceased medical student was identified as Harsimran Singh, 24, son of Jatinder of Indra Vihar, New Delhi. He was travelling in a car (Eon) when the road accident happened.
A case has been registered at Lamphel Police Station. The body was sent to New Delhi after conducting a post-mortem at RIMS on May 26, reports added.
CCM Pleads for Myanmar Citizens
In a memorandum submitted on May 28 the Citizens Committee, Manipur (CCM) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “treat fleeing Myanmar citizens humanely in the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family)”.
The CCM said no humanitarian aid has been extended to the Myanmar people stranded in the border areas. On the other hand, they are being turned away from the border by the Assam Rifles following Home Ministry’s order.
In addition, the plight of these people is further compounded by the raging COVID-19 pandemic. As they are hiding from the authorities of both Myanmar and India, they are neither tested for COVID-19 nor vaccinated against the disease.
CCM has been informed of Covid related deaths among the Myanmar citizens, the memorandum added.
Containment Measures to Remain
The Government of India on May 27 issued an order to all states and union territories to ensure compliance to containment measures for COVID-19 as conveyed by the Union Health Ministry till June 30.
Reports said, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla stated that strict implementation of containment and other measures has led to a declining trend in the number of new and active cases, across states and UTs, barring some areas in the southern and northeastern regions.
The union home secretary, however stated that the number of active cases is still very high in spite of the declining trend, and added that containment measures should continue to be implemented strictly, reports added.
COVID-19 Treatment Charges Fixed
The Manipur Government on May 26 issued an order to limit the charges for treatment of COVID-19 patients by private hospitals with a view to ensure that reasonable rates are charged for COVID-19 treatment.
For patients being treated at general or isolation ward, the maximum charges per day without oxygen support shall be Rs 3,000 while patients with oxygen support will be charged a maximum of Rs 5,000 per day, the Health Department order stated.
Treatment at beds with High Dependency Unit (HDU) shall be charged with a maximum of Rs. 7,000 per day. The ICU beds without ventilator shall be charged with a maximum of Rs. 8,000 per day while those receiving treatment with ventilator at ICU beds shall be charged a maximum of Rs. 10, 000 per day, the order stated.
The daily charges include registration charge, bed charge, nursing and boarding charge, medicine and drugs, oxygen charges as well charges for pathology and radiology tests, the order added.
The order further mentioned Remdesivir can be charged separately at the rate of Rs. 3,400 per dose, it stated.
The order also mentioned that PMJAY and CMHT beneficiaries are covered for COVID-19 hospitalisation expenses.
10 KL Oxygen Plant at JNIMS
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on May 28 inaugurated a 10 KL Liquid Medical Oxygen Cryogenic Tank at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Porompat, Imphal.
Biren said inauguration of the oxygen plant comes as a relief for it could meet the oxygen requirements to a great extent, reports added.
Many of the hill districts would also have their own oxygen plants soon. In addition to this, another Cryogenic LMO plant of 20 KL capacity would be installed in Imphal at the earliest, he said.
The chief minister further said the state now has around 4000 oxygen cylinders and over 1000 oxygen concentrators. Also, another ICU block having 70 beds with ventilators is also coming up at JNIMS complex soon, he added.
Ccpur gets Mini Secretariat, Oxygen Plant
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on May 26 inaugurated the Mini Secretariat (administration block) Churachandpur located at Tuibong and also the much needed oxygen plant inside Churachandpur District Hospital which will supply 40 cylinders of oxygen daily.
Reports said the new Mini Secretariat which has four blocks will be used as a new office space for the deputy commissioner of Churachandpur District and other departments in the district. The Mini Secretariat is ready for occupation in a campus located at Tidim road.
Government Bans COVID-19 Relief
The practice of using specially created relief kits with logos, use of loudspeakers mentioning names of donors, house visits done by organisations and individuals, putting up banners of individual donors on vehicles in the name of charity during the ongoing pandemic should be stopped immediately. Any person found violating this order will be penalised under relevant provisions of law, stated the order issued by district magistrate, Imphal West Th Kirankumar on May 25.
It has come to the notice of the District Magistrate, Imphal West that a number of NGOs/civil bodies/clubs/organisations and individuals etc. have started distribution of food items and medical items or Covid relief kits in various localities of Imphal West district during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the order mentioned.
The district administration, Imphal West appreciates the kindness extended in any form, it stated. It is felt, however, that the use of media and social media outlets for gaining publicity in the name of charity through use of specially created kits, public gatherings etc. for photography or video coverage is highly undesirable as it defeats and undermines the very purpose and sanctity associated with charity, the order mentioned. Therefore, it has become imperative to immediately curb and stop such undesirable and emerging trends in the interest of the general public, the order added.
VRDL RIMS Halts RT-PCR Tests
The VRDL at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) will not be processing any samples for RTPCR testing for COVID-19 for the time being as the Biosafety Cabinet at the VRDL had stopped functioning since May 24.
Undertrials may get Interim Bail
The High Powered Committee (HPC), Manipur has recommended that nine undertrial prisoners from Central Jail, Sajiwa be considered for release on interim bail on PR bonds by the concerned court or magistrate subject to such other conditions as may be imposed by them. It is, however clarified that no prisoner shall be released without their consent. It is also clarified that in view of the lockdown and the curfew announced by the state government, the prison authorities, police department and the home department are to arrange the logistics and transportation facilities for the released prisoners from the jails to their place of residences.
Action to be Taken Against Headmaster
Manipur Education Minister Salam Rajen on May 26 announced that appropriate action will be taken against the headmaster of Singa Upper Primary School for not complying with the state government’s order during the pandemic.
A report of conducting coaching classes in Upper Primary School, Singa in Thoubal District has been found to be circulated through local dailies on May 26, the Education Minister told the media.
AMWJU’s Covid Relief Fund
The Paomee Welfare Foundation (PWF) has announced to donate Rs. 1 lakh to the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU)’s Covid Relief Fund which was instituted to provide aid for the Covid infected affiliated journalists.
Reports said during an online meeting of the Board of Trustees of PWF held on May 27, the board had also approved the recommendations of its Medical Board that fixed the amount of assistance for the phase-2 of the welfare scheme of the working journalists, the Medical Financial Assistance (MFA), for the five beneficiaries, totaling to Rs 1,75,000, PWF stated in a release.
Curfew in Koide as 150 Test Positive
Senapati District administration imposed a curfew in the entire Koide area since as many as 150 persons who attended a fasting programme at Koide Lower Baptist Church in Manipur‘s Senapati district were found to be positive for COVID-19 on May 26. Koide Area under the curfew includes Koide Mathak, Koide Makha, Koide Biisho and Koide Zho under Purul sub-division of the district, from May 26 to June 5 as a preventive measure.
Reports said a total of 254 individuals, including 86 people who came from outside the area like Imphal and neighbouring Nagaland’s capital Kohima, attended the fasting programme held from May 11 to 21.