Former Manipur CM questions over lockdown relaxation

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, April 12, 2020: Former chief minister of Manipur and opposition leader Okram Ibobi has questioned N. Biren Singh government seeking the reason of relaxing total shut down for five hours on Saturday across Manipur in connection with Ester Sunday and Cheiraoba (New Years Day of Manipur).

There is a risk of spreading Covid-19 and could have been affected during the relaxation, Ibobi said.

Large number people came out and rushed to market places.

The state government permitted to open essential item shops and oil stations from 6 am till 11 am.

Ibobi asked why the lockdown was relaxed for festivals even when religious ceremonies like Saradha are restricted during the 21-day lockdown in wake of Covid-19 outbreak over the globe.

Total lockdown began on March 24 midnight.

Addessing the reporters at his official resident, here, on Sunday  ibobi said precautionary measures have been taken over the globe by staying at homes in order to maintain social distancing.

To prevent spread of Covid-19 similar advices are given in in India as the only preventive measure to avoid from the virus infection. The state government has been instructing people to stay home to avoid social gathering. “What is the use of imposing total lockdown  if the state has to relax the lockdown?” Ibobi asked.

Ibobi said even in big countries where Christianity has majority, Ester Sunday is not celebrated at churches. Instead people are advised to stay at home due to the pandemic, he added.

The chief minister should clarify immediately over the lockdown relaxation if it would not lead to spread the desease in the state, he said.

“Who will take the responsibility if a new Covid-19 case comes in the state as some scientists are suggesting that the virus could be air borne.” The state government should answer to this to public, he added.

It is the responsibility for a government to provide essential commodities to its people during lockdown period and appropriate methods should be implemented. State could provide online delivery service of essential commodities. Despite of that state announced relaxation of total shutdown to get essential commodities for the festivals, Ibobi said.

He urged the state government to provide essential commodities abundantly during the lockdown period so that people could maintain social distancing by staying at home.

It is a good initiatives for the government to announce cash award of Rs 35 lakhs for the medical team who help in treating the first Covid-19 infected person, he said.

Government need to encourage essential services who are doing duty in the frontline during the lockdown including state forces, medical staffs and journalists, he added.

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