In a bid to bring back its people stranded in various parts of the country, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh informed that his government will pay for the return journey of the state's residents amid COVID-19 lockdown. He also said that once the people arrive in the state they will be quarantined in community quarantine centres.
"Train fare of the stranded people, who are coming here from other states, will be borne by the state government. After arriving, they will be quarantined in community quarantine centres already arranged by concerned MLAs, local clubs, Deputy Commissioners, and medical officers," Singh told ANI on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister further said, "Those who are in other Northeastern states, they may come back on their own. Expenditure will be borne by themselves because the distance is very short. The state government will bear expenses of only those who are coming back from far off areas".
The Chief Minister further said that the relaxations given in the state as per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines were being removed as the returnees to Manipur could possibly lead to an increase in cases. He also urged the public to cooperate with the government to ensure that COVID-19 cases do not increase in the coming days.
"We are very concerned about the coming days when the stranded people return to Manipur from other areas. Maintaining social distancing in such a situation could become a problem. Therefore, the lockdown will continue till May 17 as per the earlier restrictions. The movement will be allowed only to purchase essential items and that of trucks," Singh said.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday evening, Manipur had 2 confirmed cases of the infection, however, both patients have been cured and discharged.
(With inputs from agency)