CPI highlights plight of daily wage earners

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 21: Even as the State Government is shutting down markets, tou-rist spots and offices to face possible COVID-19 spread, lack of State sponsored mea-sures to provide relief to the daily wage earners and workers of unorganised sector, who will be hit hardest by the lockdown is a matter of serious concern, said Communist Party of India, Manipur  State  Council today.
Addressing media persons at their office at Irabot Bhavan, CPI National executive member, Dr Moi- rangthem Nara noted that the novel coronavirus spread has become pandemic and is posing a serious threat to world economy.
It may be noted COVID-19 has infected more than 286,900 people and killed 11,889 people worldwide. India, so far, has around 283 cases.
Acknowledging the various steps being taken up by the Centre and the State Government to contain and avoid further spread of the disease, Dr Nara said that the party (CPI) will be cooperating and contributing its share of responsibilities to face the pandemic.
Further talking about the effects the lockdowns and restrictions imposed on trade and business operations would have on the public, Dr Nara pointed out that the workers of unorganised sectors including daily wage earners would be  hit the hardest and left without any means of livelihood unless the Government provides relief packages.
“If the lockdowns to contain and avoid the virus spread continue for weeks, the daily wage earners would suffer the most,” he said adding that the Government should have concrete alternative arrangement if it is shutting down markets for days.
When the lockdowns and restrictions imposed are necessary, the Government should also give attention to these workers and provide assistance, he said while clarifying that his appeals are not political in nature but are aimed at highlighting the plight and concerns facing the general public at this point of time.
He also called for attention of the Government towards panic buying and hoarding of goods seen across the State. Prices of almost all essential commodities are being hiked at many places, he said. As the fear of the novel coronavirus is rising among the people, the fare for Delhi-Imphal flights has reached Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000, he pointed out.
Only appealing the people not to indulge in panic buying and hoarding will bear no fruit, he said advising that the Government should work to bring down the panic level and enforce applicable laws to restrict price hikes.
He then went on to say that countries  around the world, including India have many things to learn from China in fighting this deadly virus.
There is significant reduction in the number of new cases reported in China and it has even shut down the temporary hospitals it built for COVID-19 patients, Dr Nara said lauding the dedication of the nurses and doctors of China who had volunteered to serve at Wuhan province, the epicentre of the disease in China. With doctors and scientists working round the clock to find a cure for the disease, many drugs are being put to test. Interferon Alpha 2B, a drug from Cuba has been found very successful in controlling the disease, he said.
He also appealed all not to panic in the face of the virus and take all preventive and precautionary measures advised by departments concerned.