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Covid-19 infection is rising in rural areas of Manipur due to lack of awareness, inadequate infrastructure and failure to follow COVID SOPs: Health Director Dr K. Rajo

Health Services Director Doctor K. Rajo has highlighted the plights facing health and other relevant officials in administering COVID-19 Vaccine to inhabitants residing in far-flung areas of Manipur. Briefing media on the current status of covid-19 pandemic in Manipur at the Medical Directorate in Lamphel, today, Doctor K. Rajo said, Government is leaving no stone unturned in reaching out covid vaccination drive to beneficiaries in every nook and corner of the state, but bad road connectivity, shortage of man power and lack of awareness on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccine are major stumbling blocks. 

Dr. K.,Rajo also informed that efforts are on to increase the number of Community quarantine centres in the State. He said, community halls and schools will be converted into quarantine centres if required. He reminded that as per the Government's order issued on July 26, meals are being provided to inmates of covid care centres in the state. Stating that Government is carrying out mass awareness on covid appropriate behaviours, vaccination drive and mass covid testing on war footing in the State, the health director appealed for public support in fighting covid-19 pandemic. 

Speaking further, the Health Directior highlighted the current status of COVID-19 Situation in Manipur. He said, covid-19 infection is gradually declining in the urban areas of Manipur while it is steadily increasing in the rural areas. Dr K. Rajo cited lack of awareness and failure to maintain COVID-appropriate behaviours as reasons behind the surging COVID-19 infection rate in rural areas. He also informed that in the past 10 days, covid infection is highest in Imphal West District followed by Imphal East, Bishnupur and Thoubal District. While in the Hill districts, Churachandpur has the highest infection rate followed by Chandel, Kangpokpi and Noney District. While, covid fatality rate in the state stands average compared to the last highest number of deaths.

Dr. K Rajo also said that Manipur has so far logged 7 Black Fungus cases out of which two patients have died and 5 are undergoing treatment. The Health Director assured that State Government is making all out efforts to pay extra service pay and other due incentives to health workers including doctors and nurses. He also expressed sadness that two doctors in Manipur have succumbed to COVID-19 and informed that their families have been provided an Ex-Gratia amount of 50 lakh rupees each by the Government. Dr Rajo called for collective efforts of health professionals, government and the public in battling COVID-19 Pandemic.

Anti Smuggling Unit, Customs Division Imphal seizes Brown Sugar worth around Rs. 8 Crores in the International Market

Illegal activities such as drug smuggling continue even during the coronavirus induced lockdown in Manipur.

Anti Smuggling Unit, Customs Division Imphal team has seized a huge consignment of Brown Sugar, worth around 8 Crore Rupees in the International Market. 31-Year-Old Md. Tamijur Rahaman, son of Md Abdul Rahaman was caught ferrying the contraband items in a Tata Truck bearing Nagaland registration number - NL-01-I-89-66 on July 29.

Acting on a tip-off, the team recovered the drugs during a frisking operation in Mantripukhi area last evening. According to Custom officials, the contraband drugs weighing 8kg 800 grams were concealed in 11 different packets.

Custom Division Imphal has registered a case against Md. Tamijur Rahaman under ND & PS  Act, 1985 for necessary actions.

Shocking as it is, curfew violators attacked Police at Khurai Heigrumakhong early this morning. Three police personnel of Imphal East District sustained injuries in the scuffle. One Gypsy vehicle of Imphal East Police Commando was also damaged in the incident. Heingang police has arrested 40 suspects for interrogation. 

Scuffles occured between police and curfew violators at Khurai Heigrumakhong around 6AM today. Conflicts reportedly occurred in connection with the July 20 incident when a police team led by Imphal East SP N. Herojit drove back curfew violators to their respective homes using loudspeakers at Khurai Heigrumakhong. It maybe mentioned that one police personnel sustained injuries in the incident. Police today rushed at the venue to arrest a miscreant allegedly involved in the July 20 incident.

Additional SP Imphal East Moirangmayum Bishworjit told Impact News that when the police team approached, they came across curfew violators at Khomidok market and when the police got tough on them, the violators started pelting stones towards them. Police resorted to tear gas shelling and smoke bombing to contain the situation. Heingang Police Station OC, Imphal East Commando OC and driver of the damaged police Gypsy sustained injuries in the scuffle.

A team including District Magistrate and SP Imphal East N. Herojit has rushed to the site and took stock of the situation. Police has arrested 40 people for interrogation in connection with today’s incident. They are under the custody of Heingang Police Station as of filing this report. Police has condemned such unruly behaviour and appealed to the public to abide by the coronavirus induced lockdown to curb further spread of covid-19 infection in the state.


Govt assures adequate fertilisers but farmers get none

Farmers in Manipur continue to face unavailability of fertilisers despite assurances and tall claims about availability of adequate fertilisers in the state by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, Agriculture Minister Oinam Lukhoi and other relevant leaders.

State Agriculture Minister Oinam Lukhoi and Agriculture Director have reportedly assured of providing fertilisers to farmers of Kumbi Setupur in Bishnupur District but they are yet to get the same till date. Farmers are getting worried as the paddy plantation season is right about now.

Speaking on behalf of the distraught farmers today, Executive Member of Gram Sabha Committee, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh Manipur Prant, Bishnupur District cum National Awardee Kh. Samusaba Meitei expressed worry that many farmers are yet to start paddy plantation due to late onset of monsoon this year. He said, some farmers with much difficulty started paddy transplantation in some fields but the lack of fertilisers is a worrying issue at the moment.

Kh. Samusaba Meitei appealed to the Government, the Agriculture Department and other authorities concerned to take stock of the situation and ease paddy cultivation to avoid scarcity of rice in the future. He warned of intense agitations if their demand is not met.

No death among those infected with coronavirus after full vaccination: JNIMS

Director of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences JNIMS - Professor Dr. Laishram Deben has informed that as per a study carried out by JNIMS, there is no report of death among those infected with coronavirus after getting both doses of covid-19 vaccine till date. He has called for timely testing and vaccination to ward off the disease. Dr. L Deben also stressed on the need for collective efforts by Health Professionals, Government and the public in controlling further spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the State. He urged everyone to follow COVID appropriate behaviours to combat coronavirus which is airborne.

Speaking to media at JNIMS Hospital in Porompat today, Dr L. Deben said that the state Government has clamped statewide total curfew to break the chain of Covid-19 infection. He went on to say that, doctors and nurses are tirelessly giving treatment to covid patients admitted at the general ward, ICU and post covid wards of the hospital. He also asserted that around 240 covid patients are being treated at the 190 bedded General ward of JNIMS.

Dr L. Deben informed that anyone can get free Covid-19 test at JNIMS Hospital on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with prior registration while, casualty ward patients can get covid-19 test in the hospital 24 hours a day. He also urged people to get proper treatment at Government run Covid care centres, if they don't have proper home isolation facilities.

The Supreme Court postpones hearing on Disqualification case of 12 BJP MLAs on account of holding ‘Office of profit’ for one week; EC's opinion on the case reportedly apprised to Governor's Secretary on January 14, 2021

Congress MLA DD Thaisii on Monday urged before the Supreme Court his plea for the fast decision by the Governor as to the disqualification of 12 BJP Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly under Article 192 for holding Offices of Profit on their appointment as Parliamentary Secretaries. He sought a direction to the Election Commission of India, ECI to perform its Constitutional obligation under Article 192 and give its opinion on the disqualification case to Manipur Governor. The Supreme Court bench  postponed hearing on the case for a week.

In today's hearing, respondents stated that the Election Commission of India, ECI has already given its opinion on the Disqualification Case to Manipur Governor's Secretary on January 14 this year. However, the petitioner's counsel claimed that the Governor has still not decided and that there is no point in going back to the Governor to decide if they have not decided in six months. According to the petitioner, the Election Commission has a constitutional duty to give it's opinion to the Governor of Manipur and failure to discharge the constitutional duty by a constitutional authority cannot be sustained. The Court ordered to set a deadline for the Governor's Secretary to inform the Governor about the EC's opinion.

It maybe mentioned that the Government of Manipur had enacted the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012, enabling the Chief Minister to appoint Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly as Parliamentary Secretary with the status and rank of a Minister of a State. In 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the scheme of Article 194 does not expressly authorize the State legislature to create an office such as that of the Parliamentary Secretary. Subsequently, Manipur Government passed the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary And Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018. The Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012, and the Manipur Parliamentary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018 ceased to exist after the Manipur High Court pronounced them invalid and unconstitutional in a judgment on September 17, 2020.

After the High Court declared these Acts void ab initio, Congress MLAs of Manipur had approached Governor Dr Najma Heptulla seeking disqualification of the 12 BJP MLAs on account of holding the position of parliamentary secretaries, which qualified as 'office of profit'. The Governor then forwarded necessary documents and sought the EC's opinion on the matter in October last year. After much waiting, Congress MLA DD Thaisii had filed a writ petition to the Supreme court seeking the EC's opinion on the case.

DESAM demands regular Principals in 24 Government Colleges & 6 Aided Colleges and Rationalisation of both Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff to enhance Higher Education Sector in Manipur

Democratic Students' Alliance of Manipur, DESAM draws the State Government's attention towards two actionable activities that will increase the efficiency of collegiate education within a short period with high return. It urges the Government for prompt appointment of regular Principals in those Government colleges requiring the same and rationalisation of both teaching and non-teaching staff of Government Colleges to make way for the best, motivated, and capable faculties within a very short period. 

DESAM urges the Government to introduce some major activities in view of the National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP-2020) to bring quality higher education in Manipur with an aim to develop good, thoughtful, well-rounded, and creative people. It points out that only few subjects have high or proper teacher:student ratio, many government colleges have low or inappropriate teacher:student ratio, there is evidence of high variation of non-teaching staff from one college to another and that rationalisation is required for librarian and other staff in co-curricular activities. DESAM reminds about the leadership role of College Principals. The students' union says that only 15 government colleges have regular Principals appointed for a tenure of only 5 years and that some are Principal-in-Charge for more than 23 years without any fixed tenure.

In a video release today, DESAM Secretary General Leishangthem Lamyanba expresses concerns about the huge disparity in enrollment percentage of students in colleges across the State. He says that popular colleges face admission rush while less popular colleges have few students applying for admission. Lamyanba also mentions that owing to the pandemic many students have now opted to study in the state instead of colleges in other parts of the country and with high pass percentage of students in the recently declared class 12 exams, there will be many students seeking admission in the state. Lamyanba stresses on the need for rationalisation of both teaching and non-teaching staff of government colleges to reform Higher Education Sector in the state. He also urges the relevant authorities to appoint regular principals in 24 government colleges and 6 Government aided colleges in the State immediately.

The student leader recalls that DESAM had already submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Education Minister about these issues, and they have given assurances to look into the matter.




Bad road, lack of suitable vehicles & adequate man-power are some major stumbling blocks for the success of Covid-19 Vaccination drive in Kamjong District; Covid Vaccination is still a distant dream for villagers under Sahamphung Sub-Division 
Among the hill districts of Manipur, Kamjong district is one of the most deprived districts in many aspects. Apart from lack of adequate Police personnel to check Law & Order situation, Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Workers, Kamjong District is not even equipped with necessary district admin vehicles for public welfare usage. Such inadequacies retard the progress of the district and especially hinder covid vaccination drive amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Facing various inconveniences, relevant authorities are making their best efforts to reach out covid vaccine to the residents of these far flung areas. 
Manipur government created Kamjong district which consists of 4 sub-divisions out of Ukhrul district on December 8, 2016. The district, sized around 2 thousand square kilometre is of hilly terrain with no proper roads till date to connect its inhabitants. Lack of proper infrastructure like health care centres, man power and good road has been even more challenging especially in these tough times of coronavirus pandemic, when the government is making due efforts to vaccinate all the eligible beneficiaries in the state.
There are around 36 Thousand eligible beneficiaries above the age of 18 in this fairly sized district of about 140 villages spread across four sub-divisions of Kamjong Sub-Division, Kasom Sub-Division, Phungyar Sub-Division and Sahamphung Sub-Division. District Administration Kamjong under the initiative of Phungyar MLA K.Leishiyo has been making earnest efforts for days on in reaching out Covid-19 vaccination drive in villages under Kasom, Phungyar and Kamjong Sub-Divisions. However, they are still unable to reach out vaccination drive to residents of villages under Sahamphung Sub-Division till date due to the obvious lack of electricity and pathetic road condition.
Challenging the pathetic road, lack of proper health centers, adequate vehicles and man power in the district, Phungyar MLA K Leishiyo is making relentless efforts along with Kamjong District DC and doctors, day and night to reach out Covid-19 vaccination drive to the residents of these remote villages in his constituency. But misconceptions about the vaccine have taken control over the ignorant villagers' minds and many are still unwilling to get vaccinated. One of the journeys included a visit to Chahong village, located 135 kilometres away from the Imphal City. Though, health officials administered Covid-19 Vaccine to many beneficiaries in Chahong Khullen, only 4 people of Chahong Chingthak were willing to get the vaccine shots even after more than an hour of raising awareness on the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination. While, none from the neighbouring villages of Phalung and K. Langli came out to get vaccinated. On the positive note, some villagers of Maku were willing to get vaccine shots after an awareness program was held for them.
It is a known fact that bad road connectivity in the remote areas of the state is a stumbling block in carrying out successful Covid-19 vaccination drive for the remote dwellers. Government should provide adequate man-power and suitable vehicles to drive through the rough terrains to reach out COVID-19 vaccine to the villagers. It is equally important for the relevant authorities and health officials including doctors to raise effective awareness to clear away any myths or doubts about the vaccine itself and encourage people to get inoculated against COVID-19 .

The second wave of coronavirus  pandemic is breaking families, destroying lives. Horrifying story of aged Covid patient being abandoned by family has surfaced in Manipur, a land known for its hospitality and warmth.

More than a month ago, an octogenarian woman from Hiyanglam Assembly Constituency in Kakching District was reportedly disowned by her family after contracting COVID-19. This horrifying incident came to light recently. Family allegedly disowned 87-Year-Old Wahengbam Shakhi due to fear of contracting the disease. Staff of District Health Society, Kakching on June 16 admitted Shakhi at the Isolation Ward cum Covid Care Centre opened at Kakching Higher Secondary School and has been looking after her. 

Dr. Moirangthem Arun, Medical in-Charge of Kakching Covid Care Centre has said that staff of the Centre picked up Shakhi from here residence near Pole Star College in Kakching District and they have been looking after her since then. The doctor has said that she (Shakhi) came with very low saturation of oxygen and was kept on ventilator. Shakhi was in a debilitating condition and she couldn't walk or even eat food herself. Dr Arun has said that the isolation ward staff nurtured her back to health. They washed her, fed her and carried her fragile body whenever she had to be moved around and looked after her with the true spirit of a corona warrior. Salutes to such and many other unsung corona warriors!

Shakhi who has seen her better days in life but abandoned by her own family during her winding days is now said to be stable. However, no one from her family has approached the authorities yet as of filing this report. Is the family oblivious, ashamed or still leaving in the dark abyss of ignorance, selfishness and heartlessness? Fear is not the solution to this deadly pandemic but knowledge is. Let's show some humanity, cares and embrace the "New Normal".

Manipur continues to grapple with surging covid-19 infection as high as 19.37% on July 21. State reported 1,327 new covid cases out of the 6,852 samples tested in the last 24 hours. 15 patients succumbed to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours rising the death toll to 1,424. Covid-19 tally of Manipur has already exceeded 88 thousand mark. On the positive note, Manipur reported 1,032 cured cases in the past 24 hours. A total of 76,279 covid patients have recovered so far. State's recovery rate stands at 86.63 per cent.

Newly infected persons are 1,326 from the general population and one is a personnel of Central Armed Police Force. Imphal West has the highest infection of 400 followed by Imphal East with 351, Thoubal with 124, Kakching with 106, Churachandpur with 94, Bishnupur with 77, Chandel with 38, Tamenglong with 35, Noney with 27, Kangpokpi with 22, Jiribam with 17, Kamjong with 12, Senapati with 10 and 2 each in Tengnoupal and Pherzawl District.

Manipur health department is undoubtedly trying its best in ramping up vaccination rate and reaching out to residents in the far flung areas. Aged and physically challenged people have been vaccinated at their respective homes. Though a genome sequencing unit has been already opened at IBSD, Takyelpat, it is yet to ascertain how many of these new cases are of delta variant. Should there be a need to devise a different strategy to deal with the new variant?

Strict curfew is being imposed in the state barring for few miscreants who have not been spared by the police. There is also report of sorry condition of COVID Care Centre and Hospitals treating covid patients. The pandemic has affected almost everybody. As many as 9 of a family including minors have been even admitted to COVID Care Centre.  It's time everyone takes shared responsibilities, stay home and protect each other.

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