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Coronavirus scare: Manipur suspends bio-metric attendance for one month

By IANS Updated: Mar 06, 2020 10:51 pm
A thermal screening device checks passengers arriving at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in view of novel coronavirus outbreak, in Guwahati on Wednesday. (PTI)

Imphal, March 6 (IANS): The mandatory practice of bio-metric attendance in all Manipur government offices has been suspended for a month as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus outbreak in the country which has so far infected 31 people, officials said here on Friday.

“The coronavirus may spread through hand contamination and as a preventive measure, the bio-metric attendance of government offices in Manipur has been suspended for one month,” a state Health and Family Welfare Department official said.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Thursday held a meeting with state government officials and reviewed the steps taken as precautionary measures.

The Chief Minister said that since mid-January, the state government has been taking various precautionary steps and following the advisories of the Central government to check the spread of the COVID-19.

“So far not a single positive case of COVID-19 was detected in Manipur. Screening for visitors has been going on at entry points at the international borders with Myanmar and at the airport. Tourists and other newcomers are allowed to enter Manipur after studying the travelling history and other details of the person concerned,” Singh added.

According to the Chief Minister, screening of a total number of 1,21,629 air passengers and other visitors have been so far and 12 suspected cases were found.

“Out of the 12 suspected cases, the test reports of 10 samples were found negative while laboratory test reports of the other two samples were awaited. The Manipur government has kept two isolation wards ready in the main hospital in Imphal for any eventuality,” he added.

Manipur Health and Family Welfare Department has deployed medical officers along the border towns of Moreh and Behiang to screen all people — both foreigners and Indians — entering the state after travelling from China or any other neighbouring countries.

Arunachal sets up control room, activates response teams

The Arunachal Pradesh government said on Thursday that it has set up a control room and also activated rapid response teams amid the coronavirus scare.

Responding to apprehensions of MLAs in the assembly, state Health and Family Welfare Minister Alo Libang said in a statement that there is nothing to panic but asked the people to be alert.

Informing that no cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Arunachal Pradesh and other Northeastern states, Libang said that all the deputy commissioners have been directed to conduct regular meetings with the district medical officers and frequently review the preparedness.

“24×7 control room has been set up at the state Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) for responding to any queries on coronavirus. The state and districts have rapid response teams to act as first responders for any cases, if detected in the state,” he said.

The minister said that isolation wards with minimum of two beds in the district and general hospitals have been readied, besides five beds at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) in Naharlagun and Baken Pertin General Hospital at Pasight in the East Siang district.

People coming from outside the state are being screened, he said.

“For testing of suspected cases, we have with us the sample collection kits, which have been supplied by ICMR Dibrugarh in Assam and the testing will be done at Guwahati Medical College Hospital,” the minister said.

By IANS Updated: Mar 06, 2020 10:51:21 pm