IMPHAL, March 23 - Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh chaired an emergency Cabinet meeting in Imphal today and decided to impose total lockdown in the state with immediate effect till March 31 as a measure of maximum precaution and safety to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Government spokesperson Thongam Biswajit Singh, who holds the works and power portfolio in the ruling government, made an announcement in this regard soon after the Cabinet meeting.
Biswajit said the Cabinet meeting has also taken a decision to utilise dedicated buildings of both RIMS and JNIMS hospitals as isolation wards for the time being.
Stating that the government has also decided to distribute rice meant for April under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) this month free of cost to support the needy people, he said the beneficiaries of the state health scheme, i.e., Chief Minister�s Hakshel gi Tengbang, who don�t posses NFSA card, will also be able to avail the facility.
He appealed to the general public to jointly fight the spread of Covid-19 by following and observing the precautionary guidelines.
Meanwhile, state DIPR in a press release said the Cabinet meeting also decided to create a Chief Minister�s Covid-19 Relief Fund for making available funds promptly for emergency requirements with a corpus fund of Rs 10 crore and appealed to the public to contribute, besides urging government servants to donate a day�s salary as Cabinet ministers decided to donate a month�s salary.
Appreciating the people for making yesterday�s Janata Curfew a success, the Cabinet also decided that a Central Covid-19 Control Room (24X7) be manned by personnel from various departments, including Police Department,would be opened at the CM�s office complex.
As a special humanitarian measure, National Food Security Act rice allocation for April 2020 would be released in advance and free of cost to beneficiaries and families enrolled under CMHT, a state health scheme would also avail the facility.
Later, state chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu while issuing an order informed that all shops, malls, markets, commercial establishments shall be closed, except shops dealing with groceries/vegetables/medicines/milk/LPG/petrol pumps.