TODAY -

People throng market as Govt announces total curfew
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, July 16 2021: People from different parts of the state thronged Imphal city and other markets in different districts of the state on Friday in a bid to stock essential commodities ahead of the 10-day total curfew to be imposed by the state government from Sunday to contain the spread of Covid-19, especially in view of prevalence of Delta variant of the virus, which is highly transmissible.

Major roads leading to Imphal city witnessed traffic jams and the scene in Imphal city resembled pre-Covid period.

Though not all the shops in Imphal city were opened, people flocked to the few shops that were opened on Friday.

Covid relevant SOPs such as social distancing took a backseat.

Almost similar scenes were witnessed in grocery shops in different localities.

Long queues were also seen in front of banks and at petrol pumps.

Expressing concern over the rising cases of Covid-19 and high prevalence of Delta variant of the virus, chief minister N Biren made a late-night announcement on Thursday informing that the government would be imposing a total curfew for 10 days starting from Sunday early morning.

Stating that the government is giving a two-day gap so that the public could buy essential commodities for 10 days, the CM appealed to the public to strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviours and relevant SOPs while coming out to buy their essentials.

He also said that apart from police, the government would also use para-military forces to ensure strict compliance of the total curfew by carrying out regular patrolling even in the localities and streets.

The rising cases of Covid and the nature of the total curfew as announced by the CM might have triggered a panic among the people of the state that forced them to come out to replenish essential commodities.

Some individuals, whom The People' Chronicle talked with, confided that they strongly believe that the total curfew might be extended beyond the 10-day period given the rising cases of Covid-19 and high transmissibility of Delta variant of the virus.

As such, they are not taking any chance and are coming out to buy essentials as their stock might run out if the curfew gets extended.

Some said that they were not expecting such huge crowd and added that they simply came out as their stocks of essentials are depleting and not because of the 10-day curfew.

Considering the way the public are coming out from home in large number, there are possibilities of the virus spreading among Friday's crowd, they remarked.

Meanwhile, the government has officially announced imposition of 'curfew' in the entire state for 10 days with effect from July 18.In an order issued Friday, State Executive Committee chairman and chief secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar stated that the decision was taken considering the fact that the number of Covid-19 infections everyday continues to be very high relative to the population and is a cause of concern and warrants stricter measures to bring down the spread of the infection in the interest of public health.

The order notified that only essential activities/services related to vaccination, Covid testing, medical services (hospitals, clinics/ pharmacies), water supply, power supply, police, telecom/internet services, air travel, agriculture/horticul-ture, garbage clearance, petrol pumps, LPG distributors, activities relating to print and electronic media and goods trucks would be allowed to function.

Essential and key departments of the government will continue to function with minimal staff as considered by the administrative secretary/ head with emphasis on e-office/work from home.

Deputy commissioners concerned will issue necessary orders for the 'curfew' and superintendents of police will take necessary action to implement the orders strictly, the order said.


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