Manipur leads a valiant fight against COVID-19 Pandemic

Abhishek Dayal *

 COVID-19 : A special train ferrying stranded residents of Manipur reached Jiribam Railway Station :: 28 May 2020
A special train ferrying stranded residents of Manipur reached Jiribam Railway Station on 28 May 2020 :: Pix - Lamdamba Oinam

The unprecedented global pandemic, Covid19, has tested the resolve and efficiency of all the governments across the world. India’s fight against the pandemic, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, began even before it was known to most people what this infection was all about. Since then, hundreds of path breaking decisions have been taken, relating to lockdown, social distancing, economic revival, assistance to the poorer sections, movement of migrant labour force and most important, tuning the medial health system to deal with the pandemic.

Manipur government has managed the difficult situation with alacrity and firmness. This is evident in its interventions and decisions in almost all spheres of our common fight against the spread of the pandemic. The situation is being monitored at the level of Chief Minister who oversees the efforts of Covid19 Task Force, State Consultative Committee and 12 specialised Covid19 response teams.

Border Fencing, state border management and lockdowns

The first crucial action taken by Manipur government was shielding and fencing of Indo-Myanmar international borders at Moreh and Behiang and strict vigil and screening at inter-state borders such as Mao, Jiribam, Jessami and other places along the porous Indo-Myanmar border at Ukhrul and Kamjong districts to regulate the inflow of tourists, passengers, and truckers. Daily screening of passengers at Mao and Jiribam and Imphal International Airport started right at the start of the pandemic in the country. All these steps were taken at the time when there were Zero cases in the whole of the North East region.

On the direction of the Central government, Manipur imposed a complete and successful lockdown all over the state on 24th March. Exceptions were given only for the movement and opening of essential services and essential goods. In later phases of lockdown, farming activities and limited commercial activities were started under strict social distancing norms.

With the imposition of total lockdown, dedicated helplines were opened to receive queries and disseminate information to the general public. At no time were the citizens left helpless and without access to important information. It is to be noted that the people responded with responsibly and did their utmost at individual and community levels to make the lockdown a success.

The extent of involvement of State Government in managing the lockdown efficiently is reflected in the series of orders and regulations on physical distancing, strict enforcement of curfew, restricting movement of the public at various hotspots, penalising violators of curfew orders, relaxation of curfew, sanitization of cities and towns, spreading awareness through social media, print and electronic media, staggered opening of markets, and so on.

Health care

JNIMS Hospital was made the first Covid19 testing centre by upgrading its existing infrastructures. In the first week of March itself, the State Health Department geared up with the deployment of its Covid warriors - doctors, nurses, health workers, para medical staffs as frontline workers to combat the outbreak of virus. Later, RIMS Hospital and district hospitals of Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts were also upgraded as Covid-19 testing centres.

The testing capacity of the state is being constantly ramped up, and as on date over 2500 tests are being done on a daily basis and now there is no backlog of tests.

Despite growing number of positive cases - the figure has crossed four digits - health care system has been able to cope up very well in the state. The rising numbers is not due to community transmission but due to the huge number of returnees who have brought the infection from worst affected parts of the country. The recovery rate is high and there has been no mortality so far. The frontline health workers have done a really excellent job of taking care of the patients despite threat to their own safety.

During the second week of June, 2020, the State Government established a 100 bedded COVID Care Centre at UNACCO School, a private school in Imphal West District, with admission of 19 patients being treated in this centre. The government plans for increasing the number of beds from 100 to 300. Necessary manpower is in place at the newly opened centre for proper care and treatment of patients.

Welfare and Economic Security

As can be appreciated, the poor are the most vulnerable at a time when earning opportunities come to a sudden halt. Central government initiated a massive Economic Welfare Package that not only directly helped the people but also gave money to state governments to work for the weakest sections of the society.

Central government released Rs 6,195 crores to 14 state governments on June 10 as the third tranche of equated monthly installment of post devolution revenue deficit grant. The government had released similar amounts as first and second installments on April 3 and May 11 under Disaster Management Relief Fund to enable states to set up quarantine centres, facilitate testing, buy PPEs for Covid warriors and for other emergent needs. In April, Rs. 11,092 crores were given to states as first installment of State Disaster Risk Management Fund.

Needs of Agriculture and MSMEs were especially kept in mind while designing the unprecedented Economic Package as they are linked to the livelihood of millions of people. Fundamental policy changes were also made in these sectors to revive them and make them vibrant.These sectors are very important for a state like Manipur. There are many aspects of this economic intervention by the state, some of which can be noted here.

One of the significant highlight of the activities of Manipur Government during this period has been free distribution of PDS items and other essential commodities to the general public. Monitoring committees have been constituted for each assembly segment wherein the local MLA is the chairman.

Each and every district administrator has established food banks where the affluent locals contribute food grains, essential edible items and vegetables to keep in buffer stock and later distributed to the poor and under privileged sections of the society. The regular supply of food grains and edible items to the general public is still continuing uninterrupted.

During the last week of March, 2020, the State Government appointed cabinet ministers in charge of 16 districts in order to physically monitor and ensure distribution of PDS rice and supplies of other essential commodities to the general public of sixteen districts.

During this critical period, the State’s Horticulture Department opened outlets where organic vegetables, fruits and other edible items are sold to the public. One of the most striking events was exchange of edible items like food grains, vegetables and other essential items between the hill and valley people which led to emotional bondings and communal harmony.

“Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund” was created for proper maintenance of affected public during the lockdown period. Deduction of one day’s salary from each government employee was made mandatory. Civil society organizations, business houses, social workers and Manipuri diaspora from abroad have generously donated to the relief fund. The fund is just a part of the huge economic relief efforts of the government during this time of crisis.

Migrant Population

The very nature of lockdown made migrant workers - both in Manipur and of citizens of Manipur in other parts of the country - anxious to return to their homes. The State Government declared Manipur Bhawans at Guwahati and Kolkata as designated places for providing food and shelter for people who got stranded due to sudden lockdown.

It was done free of cost and transportation arrangements were made for ferrying them to Imphal. Hundreds of Manipuri citizens in places like national capital were helped with free food and provisions by the state government officials.

In the middle week of March, 2020, a web portal was opened to assess, monitor and redress the grievances of stranded Manipuris outside the State. The people are encouraged to register on the website and they were then helped in their homecoming through special trains from different cities of India upto Jiribam, a border town neighbouring Assam.

Through this web portal, the State Government also transferred financial assistance to thousands of stranded students. So far, about forty-five thousand returnees from different cities of India have been transported by special trains as a result of the State Government’s initiative.

Management of returning population has been a challenging task. Daily screening of passengers at the designated places at Mao, Jiribam and Imphal International Airport started from the first week of March itself.

Quarantine centres and isolation wards were opened before the outbreak of the pandemic in the State. Later, several community quarantine centres and institutional quarantine centres have been opened to cater the increasing number of returnees from outside the state.

Management of quarantine centres is important and each MLA is appointed as the chairman of the quarantine centres and several committees constituting the Deputy Commissioner of the district, district police, sub-divisional officers, medical officers and staff.


The valiant fight of Manipuri people and the State government will ensure that the pandemic is contained and defeated with minimum distress to the people. It can be readily admitted that in these difficult times, the mettle of the people of Manipur has been sorely tested and that they have succeeded with flying colours.

(Facts and figures courtesy DIPR, Manipur Government)

* Abhishek Dayal wrote this article for Imphal Times and The Sangai Express
The writer is the Director of PIB Imphal
This article was webcasted on July 01, 2020.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • COVID-19 Status 05 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Implication of Draft EIA Notification 2020
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Plain packaging will aid in ending tobacco
  • The virus and I :: Poem
  • Impact of COVID-19 on students
  • Delimitation & development: Role of Census
  • War on invisible enemy
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #1
  • COVID-19 Status 03 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Online Painting/ Sketching Competition
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Extension of Disturbed Area Act in Nagaland
  • The Politics of South China Sea Disputes : Book
  • Xi Jinping - Know the man, his upbringing..
  • Save Nambul River mission
  • If 'Transparency' is an alien concept?
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #1 : Gallery
  • German agency to support NE entrepreneurs
  • Naawa Seidum: 'Best Narrative Film' at MIFF
  • The twilight of nature :: Poem
  • Career scope in Chemistry
  • Condemns non-inclusion of bodo language
  • Compulsion behind 5 days ultimatum
  • Unfolding the menace of Health Department
  • View from Shirui Hills in Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Power dynamics: Leikai Clubs & Meira Paibi
  • Kinthuilung, Khelheibha, Lunpilal: eMing
  • People's charter of demands to PM & CMs
  • A discourse with my soul :: Poem
  • Can antiviral fabrics stop the spread of COVID
  • Design behind 'abnormal' growth ?
  • Apologetic misnomer
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Land Commission for improving relations #1
  • National Statistics Day & Statistical system
  • Distribution of Face Mask to Old Age Homes
  • A walk on prime meridian
  • Manipur leads a valiant fight against COVID
  • 48 hours later and not yet a word
  • Fate of print media in aftermath of COVID-19
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 June : Govt of Manipur
  • July Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Cyberbullying using social media as weapons
  • Distribution of Face Mask to CRPF Personnel
  • Sports, children & transferability to classroom
  • The rain sings outside the window :: Poem
  • Online learning enrolments during lockdown
  • Morphing from negative to positive
  • COVID-19 and its impact to community
  • Gandhari (Dance Drama) #4 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Takhelchangbam Kunjabihari : Wari Liba
  • Antrimwanbut Khwan : Inpui emagazine
  • Public services essential to COVID response
  • Rajas & Maharajas in Parliament
  • Naga artist Ket Meth releases music video
  • Extending lockdown till July 15
  • Neire, Mei Taare- words of the new generation
  • COVID-19 Status 27 June : Govt of Manipur
  • E-Conference : New Frontiers in Science
  • COVID mirror
  • Property Sales & Client Support @ R-Square
  • SKY Hospital - 12th Foundation Day
  • Benjamin Tao - Convenor, Manipur, TICCI
  • Online Social Work Alumni Meet at RGU
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Has state BJP succumbed to NPP's pressure?
  • Individual responsibility to battle Corona
  • COVID-19 Status 26 June : Govt of Manipur
  • The Lushai Expedition, 1871-72
  • Intl Day in Support of Victims of Torture
  • Remember :: Poem
  • Yoga as career choice
  • Head count on contentious census
  • In the game of politics
  • I Rise :: Film Scenes : eRang
  • Kits to frontliners @ ISBT : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 June : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day against Drug Abuse [Jun 26]
  • Corruption: A National Security Issue
  • Book : Rights & Entitlements at Chandel
  • Power tussle amid pandemic
  • Still no checking on corruption
  • Sangai Fest [Dec 1 2019] #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Essentials must include reproductive health
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • To peruse a father's heart :: Poem
  • The importance of the way we think
  • Politics of South China Sea disputes : Book
  • Art of running a coalition Govt
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Sports and environment in Manipur
  • Corona stigma dogging even doctors & nurses
  • Mapping the Change Makers in North East
  • TNL knew better meaning of Quarantine
  • The Kukis, Justice and the UN
  • Scripting a high octane drama
  • QC at Saikul in Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Impacts of Mapithel dam on forest & climate
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) Festival :: Book
  • Messengers of hope on World Music Day
  • Sound of environment :: Poem
  • Online Conclave for Women Entrepreneurs
  • Admission for Class XI should not be closed
  • Approaching the four figure mark
  • Demoralizing anti-corruption crusade
  • Lameithanbi - a myth with geological linkage
  • COVID-19 Status 21 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Highways of Life - best film at DocFest B'desh
  • The Unwelcome Delimitation : Part - II
  • We and today :: Poem
  • Yoga - A need of the hour
  • Cupid in COVID times
  • Voices for & against delimitation
  • Amur Falcon Fest @Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Gerrymandering in delimitation of AC
  • A humble tribute to fathers!
  • Jobs at LMP Technology, Canchipur
  • The gateway to heaven :: Poem
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Axone & Lingering Question of Racism in India
  • Training : Prevention of Spread of COVID-19
  • Patents or people: Conundrum of healthcare
  • Rahul Gandhi birthday observed at Dimapur
  • Programme on Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Curfew Violators- 19 June : Police Dept
  • Interesting election to lone RS seat
  • Arithmetic doesn't work in politics
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Training program on cultivation of mushroom
  • NHRC registered Case to investigate Oil Spill
  • Experience :: Poem
  • Floriculture as career choice
  • Admission for Class XI at Govt Hr Sec School
  • Unfolding political developments
  • The fate of titular king in hard political game
  • Quarantine Center @ Mantripukri : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 June : Govt of Manipur
  • What Now for Returning Migrant Workers
  • Activation of State Food Commission
  • At a crossroad :: Poem
  • Women Entrepreneurs' program in Northeast
  • Curfew Violators- 17 June : Police Dept
  • 28 days quarantine period : TNL example
  • Arambam Samarendra Anniv #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Inevitable long wait alongside complacency
  • Compassion amidst the COVID gloom
  • Domestic Workers future beyond COVID-19
  • Poverty stricken student- 11th rank at HSLC
  • Consultative Meeting for Opening of Schools
  • On CM Rio press conference of June 15
  • Freebies on offer from schools
  • June 18 again: but is Manipur's territory safe
  • Class X (HSLC) Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 June : Govt of Manipur
  • On George Floyd, breathless blacks & cops
  • Merit Scholarship - Class X & XII : Download
  • Condolence message for Th Oliver Monsang
  • COVID-19: Resilience & way forward
  • Understanding and accepting adversities
  • Nagaland Cabinet decision to regularize MOs
  • Spotlight on quarantine centres
  • Leirum and Luirim connotation
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Merit List
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Result Sheet
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Subject Toppers
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Statistics Abstract
  • COVID-19 Status 14 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Podcast on Manipur by Carnegie Endowment
  • Proposed park in Chivu needs a rethink
  • Home :: Poem
  • Social Media during Lockdown
  • Worrying double digit spikes
  • Adieu to Pi, Themneihat ..
  • COVID-19 Status 13 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Online Survey for people at Quarantine
  • The way forward after COVID-19
  • To strive for economic revival in COVID-19
  • A moonlit night in June :: Poem
  • Career options in Horticulture
  • Need for empathy & responsibility
  • Cultural @Sangai Fest 2019 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 June : Govt of Manipur
  • The Unwelcome Delimitation : Part I
  • RIMS in top 40 Medical institute in India
  • FDP: Research Topic for Arts & Science
  • Importance of webinars for academicians
  • 'Strictly follow SOP by Nagaland Govt'
  • To be discharged sans test results
  • Now Chief Minister is silent on corruption
  • Livelihood implication on Unjas
  • COVID-19 Status 11 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Rethinking Oil exploration in North East
  • Decry the assault on Dr. N Haraba
  • Pandemic Parodies
  • CBSE exam for remaining subjects
  • QC Discharge Rule Clarification [11 June]
  • Looking back at first case, shutdown 1.0
  • Winning Covid-19
  • Arambam Samarendra Anniv #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur's Draft Bamboo Policy
  • Sanjita Chanu cleared of doping charge- IWF
  • On reopening of schools in Manipur
  • Research & Project Associate at IBSD, Imphal
  • Concern with Oil Spill at Baghjan
  • Prison spell : CM bang on target
  • Even diarrhea kills human sometimes
  • Relief Services in 5 dists #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 June : Govt of Manipur
  • 4th delimitation in Manipur : Impact analysis
  • Sunzu Bachaspatimayum - Secretary of MFDS
  • Yes, Homecoming ! :: Poem
  • Speed up COVID-19 Test in Senapati IQC
  • Sales & Client Support @ R-Square (Imphal)
  • Curfew Violators [09 June] : Police Dept
  • Looking at cluster transmission
  • Is quarantine centers hotspot for COVID-19 ?
  • 2nd Barak Festival @ Senapati : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 June : Govt of Manipur
  • With Four Prime Ministers :: Book Review
  • Meeting with youth of Manipur amidst lockdown
  • COVID-19 Memo - Govt of Manipur [08 June]
  • Delimitation: Redrawing political ambitions
  • Quarantine @ JNV Yaralpat: Gallery
  • MA (Manipuri) in Meetei Mayek from 2020
  • Quarantine @ UNACCO School: Gallery
  • Motsillaba Mingsel :: eRang Photos
  • Laibi Oinam : Lady Auto Driver ...
  • Train @Jiri [May 28] #2 : Gallery
  • Geographical Indication, Leirum Phee & others
  • Thang Ta at Sangai Fest #3 : Gallery
  • I Rise :: Film Synopsis & Biography
  • Measures @ Imphal Airport - 25 May : Gallery
  • M.K Binodini Devi's Sense of Beauty
  • Phisakol #3 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #2: Gallery
  • The Princess & the Political Agent : eBook
  • Tangkhul Forum vegetable for valley: Gallery
  • Items distributed to Tarao -Apr 23 #2: Gallery