Covid-19: NE gears up, people busy in procuring essentials

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Mar 26th, 2020, 23:31:20hrs

Guwahati/Agartala, March 26 (IANS) The eight northeastern states on Thursday have further geared up their preparedness to deal with Covid-19 even as amid the lockdown, people rushed to shops and markets to procure essentials, officials said.

No more fresh positive cases found in the eight states, after a 50-year-old Christian pastor from Mizoram tested positive for the novel coronavirus, making it the second case in the northeastern region following a 23-year-old Manipuri woman.

The Mizo man had returned to Aizawl from Amsterdam, via Delhi and Guwahati on March 16 while the Manipuri girl returned from the UK on March 21 via Delhi, Kolkata and Agartala.

Health officials in Imphal and Aizawl said that conditions of both are "stable".

People from various walks of life are also donating money to meet the expenses to deal with the novel coronavirus. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb donated one month's salary for emergency assistance and requested all the legislators and ministers to do the same.

Amid the lockdown, banking services, shops and markets dealing with groceries, vegetables, medicine, milk, cooking gas, and petrol pumps would remain open in most of the northeastern states.

Meanwhile, the Assam government has started construction of a home quarantine centre at Guwahati with around 1,000 beds. Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in Guwahati on Thursday that the works of the makeshift quarantine centre at the Sarusajai stadium would be completed with in 3-4 days.

He said that, if anyone is found Covid-19 positive, his or her family members would be shifted in this centre and state government would take care of them.

According to the minister, the Assam government would also set up four temporary hospitals with 300 beds each in different parts of the state for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

As of now, no positive case has been found in Assam.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited few hospitals to see the arrangement to take care the possible patients of novel coronavirus.

In Agartala, the C hief Minister flagged-off 50 emergency life support ambulances and initiated steps to distribute packed food items among the homeless people, labourers, rickshaw pullers and daily-wages during the lockdown period.

The 50 emergency life support ambulances would ensure emergency services across the state round-the-clock. The 16 legislators of opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist have announced to donate Rs 25 lakh each from their MLA Local Area Development Fund. Former Tripura Congress President and party's senior leader Gopal Chandra Roy urged the Tripura government to introduce special life insurence policy for the doctors, nurses and other health workers who are engaged to tackle and also to provide proper protective gear for them.

In Manipur, Covid-19 fears have dampened the spirit of the traditional "Cheiraoba" (Meitei community's new year) festivals.

The "Cheiraoba" was celebrated across Manipur in a very low key affair. Except religious rituals by each Meitei family, no other outdoors events related with the festival were performed.

Traditionally, the celebration begins with ritual offerings of fruits, vegetables, rice and other uncooked food items to the Meitei deity LainingthouSanamahi in the morning.

In Nagaland, the state government has issued a directive to grocery shop owners to keep their shops open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and petrol pumps to supply fuel on alternate days. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio assigned ministers and advisors the responsibility to monitor implementation of steps to prevent the spread of the deadly nCoV.

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Thursday appealed to all to donate to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to fight the pandemic.

The Meghalaya government has taken up steps to ensure the steady supply of essential commodities during the 21-day lockdown called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma decided that from Friday, in the urban areas of the state including Shillong, Tura and Jowai, authorities would ensure that essential supplies would be available in all localities.

--IANS

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