No Covid-19 in State, says Health Director
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 14 2020: In light of the worsening situation all over the globe, a one day awareness programme on Covid-19 was held at State Family Welfare Training Centre, RD Wing, Lamphel today, with many CSOs and student organisation leaders in attendance.

Speaking on the occasion, Director of Health Services Manipur, Dr K Rajo clarified that the virus has not reached the State as of now and added that it is high time for all to be aware of the precautions and measures which can be taken up in case Covid-19 does make an appearance.

The situation has reached such a stage that active involvement of only the Health Department is not sufficient.

Everyone, from the grassroots level, villages, households need to understand the severity of the virus, which is one of the main reason for organising the awareness programme, he explained.

Pointing out that India has 84 confirmed cases and 2 deaths as of now, Dr K Rajo informed that currently, Manipur also has 405 passengers under surveillance while 227 individuals have been discharged.

This measure was taken up stringently by the State Government from January 1, he added.

The Director continued that while screening was conducted in the past, the border areas between Myanmar and India at Moreh has been blocked now.

However, the inter-State borders are not yet blocked and screenings are being carried out instead.

The Health Directorate is doing whatever it can to spread awareness among the people through distribution of pamphlets, using loudspeakers to spread messages etc.

The Directorate is acting as per the directives of the WHO and the Indian Government as Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic, he added.

Dr K Rajo conveyed that there are no vaccine or cure for Covid-19 till date and the best method to combat this virus is only prevention.

It is important to maintain good hygiene, sanitation, practice proper handwashing techniques like the 20 second wash rule, he said, explaining that the virus is suspected to be even more lethal for children, people above 60 years of age and those who have history of heart, kidney, liver disease and hypertension etc.

One needs to remain fit and healthy in order to best protect themselves from this virus.

On the other hand, if some one has a fever, one should stay atleast 2 metres away from the individual to avoid coming in contact with any airborne droplets while coughing.

It is also important for people to cough or sneeze by covering their mouths and nose with a tissue or a handkerchief.

One should also always wash their hands properly if anyone with such symptoms touches an object.

The Director then appealed to one and all to avoid spreading rumours or false information and explained that such individuals can even face punishment according to the law.

Speaking at the function, State Epidermiologist, IDSP Manipur, Dr Bharti Meitram narrated that on December 31 last year, China reported a clustering of pneumonia cases in Wuhan and on January 7 this year, the Chinese authorities confirmed the presence of a new Coronavirus.

Soon, the first death from the virus was reported on January 11 and 41 cases were confirmed.

Then on January 13, the first case of the virus outside China was reported/confirmed in Thailand.

On January 18, as a preventive measures, India began screening passengers arriving from China at 7 International airports, Dr Bharti informed, adding that in Manipur, screening is being done under the Medical Directorate, Director Health Services.

The first Covid-19 case for India was confirmed on January 30 and that same day, WHO also announced the virus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Screening at Surface Entry Points began from January 31 and a 24/7 control room number was activated.

On March 2, India has only 5 confirmed cases.

On March 11, the number climbed to 45 and by then, WHO declared Covid-19 as a pandemic.

As of today, more than 132758 people have been infected globally and more than 4012 people have died.

83 cases have been confirmed for India with 2 deaths.

However, there is not a single case of the virus in Manipur as of now, Dr Bharti clarified.

During the one day awareness programme, Additional Director (PH) Medical Directorate, Dr L Arke spoke on 'Awareness on Covid-19 infection, prevention and Management with State preparedness' while Public Health Specialist and Additional Director (MD) Medical Directorate, Dr Kh Sasheekumar Mangang spoke on 'Covid-19 containment plan and community engagement'.

Numerous leaders of various CSOs and student organisation of the State were also present during the function.

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