IMPHAL, March 20 - Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla and Chief Minister N Biren Singh have appealed to the people of the State to support the �Janata Curfew� on Sunday next in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
In his address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the �Janata Curfew� from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22.
In a press release issued by the Raj Bhavan here, Governor Dr Heptulla stated that the need of the hour is to live in a safe space and stay off roads and public places. She made an appeal to all to follow the guidelines stipulated by the State Government at this critical juncture and stay indoors as far as practicable.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, addressing a press conference here, said that the Janata Curfew would not be enforced by deploying security personnel, rather it would be a �self-curfew� that people should impose on themselves.
Urging the people of the State to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Chief Minister stated that all necessary steps are being taken to ensure that there is no shortage of essential items like groceries, fuel and medicines in the State. He urged the people not to go for panic buying and hoarding essential items.
In compliance with the directive of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, the State Government will also initiate measures to decongest workplaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19, added Biren Singh. The Chief Minister�s Secretariat will issue an order on departments requiring only 50 per cent of employees to attend office on alternate days (except those who are dealing with matters related to financial transactions). The heads of departments have been advised to prepare a roster in this regard, he added.
The Chief Minister urged the people to avoid unnecessary religious functions and rituals, and avoid mass climbing of Cheirao Ching on Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year). He advised those persons who recently visited the coronavirus-affected countries to follow self-quarantine procedures at home.
Mentioning the steps taken by the State Government to bring back students of the State stranded in the Philippines, the Chief Minister said that the State Government has already apprised the Union Ministry of External Affairs of the need for evacuating the students. The State Government has also asked the family members of these students to submit details and other information to the Government.