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Manipur Ima markets closed till March 25

By Correspondent

IMPHAL, March 21 - All women�s markets across Manipur, including the three iconic Ima (mother�s) markets and other temporary markets here, wore a deserted look today after the State Government�s shutdown notice for these markets for five days.

On Friday, the State Government ordered the closure of the main Ima markets from March 21 to March 25 in view of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent advisory issued by Health authorities.

In an order, the Commissioner of Manipur Administration, Housing and Urban Development also directed the deputy commissioners of Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Kakching and Jiribam districts to ensure that the main Ima markets located in their respective district headquarters to close down from March 21 till March 25. The closure notice will also apply to all street vendors, the order added.

Following the issue of the order, women vendor leaders of the Ima markets here announced closure of their markets. The busy markets where women vendors sell everything from organic vegetables and dried fish to handloom and handicraft items and cosmetics, besides household commodities, have closed down.

Meanwhile, the State Government also plans to reduce attendance of government employees in offices. The State Chief Secretary issued an office memorandum in this regard in view of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, which directed all administrative secretaries and deputy commissioners/heads of departments under the State Government to ensure that office attendance is limited to 50 per cent for Group B, C and D employees every day. The remaining 50 per cent staff will work from home.

However, the memorandum which will remain in force till March 31, exempted departments/offices and employees engaged in essential/emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control spread of COVID-19.

On the other hand, the public climbing of the Baruni Hill and Cheiraoching has been barred till further notice, an order issued by the Special Secretary of the Home Department stated. People climb the Baruni Hill and Cheiraoching as part of a ceremony and this year, the climbing was slated on March 22 and March 25 respectively.

The All Manipur Christian Organisation has also decided to suspend Church worship services with immediate effect till March 31.

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