IMPHAL, Mar 21
In view of the substantial increase in the number of persons confirmed to have been infected by COVID-19 in India in the last couple of days and the possibility of existence of infected persons who have not been counted as yet, the State Government has ordered closure of most of the public places to reduce gathering of people.
Separate orders issued by Principal Secretary (Home) H Gyan Prakash said that all inter-State entry gates of Jiribam, Mao, Jessami, Tipaimukh and Sinzawl would be closed to all passenger vehicles, both public and private with effect from 5 am of March 23 until further orders.
All goods carrying vehicles including petroleum tankers and LPG bullets would be allowed to ply subject to the condition that they do not bring in passengers and the driver and the handyman are screened/checked by health officials stationed at the gates.
The orders have asked authorities of all temples, churches, mosques etc to close them to public to avoid congregation of devotees in order to maintain social distancing.
The maximum number of people who can attend religious family functions which should be manda-torily held on a particular date as per religious belief has been limited to 30.
Other functions like wedding can be postponed if possible and if not, then the gathering should be restricted to 30, said the orders.
The Government has also ordered closure of all sections of malls/shopping complexes (except those selling groceries and vegetables), restaurants, public eating joints, conference halls, drama theatres, cinema halls as well as tourist spots.
The orders have directed the Health Department to prepare a self-declaration format for all persons coming from outside the State and this format should include their particulars, addresses and travel history.
Police Department should post sufficient manpower at all check-points and cross-check the self-declaration forms filled in by persons coming to the State with documents available with them.
Health officials should stamp all those persons returning from COVID-19 affected countries or places in India where confirmed cases have been reported and they should be advised ‘home quarantine’ if they are asymptomatic whereas symptomatic persons should be taken to designated quarantine centres, said the orders.
Meanwhile, an office memorandum issued by Principal Secretary (GAD) P Vaiphei has prohibited entry of visitors into the Manipur Secretariat including all blocks, wings and buildings both in the South Block and North Block as well as the Chief Minister’s Secretariat with immediate effect and until further orders. Notably, all State Government offices except essential services have been already advised to reduce attendance of staff on a particular day to 50 per cent by introducing a roster system.