Fear grips Manipur as 28 Police personnel test COVID positive

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Portal to share COVID-19 stories launched in Manipur

IMPHAL, July 4 (NNN): Amid fear and anxiety in Jiribam district of Manipur after 28 police personnel of Jiribam police station tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, officials of the Manipur Health department tried to allay the fear on Saturday by saying that there is no community transmission of the disease so far.

As many as 28 police personnel of Jiribam district police and VDF were tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after an ASI involved in screening returnees was tested positive for the disease on July 1.

Fear and anxiety have gripped Jiribam district as the people suspect that community transmission has prevailed in the district.

In a bid to allay the fear of the people, Health department officials said that there is no community transmission as of now in any part of the State.

“There is no community transmission. The infections of police personnel of a police station in Jiribam district is a local clustering case,” Director of Health department, Dr K Rajo said.

Addressing a news conference in Imphal on Saturday afternoon, the Health director also said that there is no need to panic.

Dr Rajo then said that officials of the Health department have swung into action in this regard and as many as 180 persons have been identified during contact tracing. Their swab samples have been subjected to COVID-19 test.

The officer then explained what is meant by community transmission and said that if mass infections by the contagion were reported at a place or some places without knowing the origin of the spread, it will be treated as community transmission as per the WHO (World Health Organisation). At the same time, he appealed to the people to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other guidelines and protocols of COVID-19 issued by the competent authorities from time to time.

Wearing protective gear like face masks, maintaining physical distance while going out in the public places and washing hands frequently with soap or sanitizer are the best way to protect from contracting the virus, he said.

Meanwhile, streets and market places in Jiribam town wore a deserted look as fear and anxiety gripped the town. People chose to stay indoor after detection of 28 cases among the police personnel.

Jiribam Keithel, the largest market of the district in Jiribam town, has been shut down indefinitely.

While announcing the closure of the market, S Janaki Devi, president of the Jiri Ema Keithel Lup alleged that sheer negligence on the part of the authorities of the State government has brought about the prevailing situation.

Meanwhile, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Saturday launched a web portal manipurcovidstories.org, a platform to share Covid-19 related stories and track volunteering activities in the State, at a function held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Imphal.

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