By Waikhom Chitradhani
Imphal (Manipur), April 19 : The Manipur Government has banned all gatherings with immediate effect, except unavoidable gatherings for funerals, marriages, time bound religious rituals/ceremonies. Such gatherings will also be strictly limited to 20 persons.
However, COVID appropriate behaviour, including wearing of face mask, is to be ensured by the host/organizer of the gathering. Violators are to be penalized promptly.
Meanwhile, the night curfew timing has been extended from 7 pm to 5 am against the earlier order of 8 pm to 4 am in the wake of the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in the state, an order from the Home Department on Sunday stated.
As new positive cases soared to 72, the State Consultative Committee for COVID-19 chaired by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh held a review meeting and discussed the prevailing situation on Sunday evening.
As per the notice issued by the Home Department, all shops and markets must be ensured of wearing face masks and take steps to prevent crowding in their shops, areas. The schedule for opening of shops in the market areas shall be given as a routine. Crowding in tourist spots, historical sites, etc are to be prevented by the department or agency concerned/venue market owners. DCs are to supervise and monitor all such locations within their jurisdiction and penalize violators.
As per reports from the COVID-19 Common Control Room, the cumulative number of active cases surged to 255 with the new 72 positive cases in the state. Out of which 21 are personnel of the Central Armed Police Force and 51 from the general public. However, COVID-19 death toll in the state remained 376 as no COVID-19 related death was reported on Sunday.
Meanwhile, as per an advisory by the Secretary to Chief Minister, Ningthoujam Geoffrey all Cabinet Ministers, legislators and government functionaries have been advised to refrain from organizing, participating in or promoting, in any manner whatsoever, events or functions by whatever name called, which will create or attract, or are likely to create or attract public gathering of any size.
The step has been taken as gatherings for various reasons are potential sources for spreading the virus. The present situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a cause for alarm in recent days, the advisory added.
On the other hand, the High School Leaving Certificate Examination, 2021 and Higher Secondary Examination-2021, being conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM) and Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (CoHSEM) respectively, which are supposed to be commenced from May 6, 2021 and May 5, 2021 respectively, have been postponed.
T Ranjit Singh, Commissioner (Education-S), Government of Manipur on Monday issued an order in this regard.
Further all Coaching Classes and Private Tuitions teaching School students located within Manipur State as well as all Boarding and Hostels in Schools and Private Hostels accommodating students have also been ordered to close with immediate effect and until further orders in public interest.
The order also further re-iterated that no physical classes will be held for those students of Class-Vill and below as notified earlier. However, online classes will still continue as usual by all concerned authorities, it added.