Manipur markets, shops allowed to open on rotation basis to tackle Covid-19 surge
Close on the heels of the closure of the Ima Keithel, an iconic women’s market having three different buildings and adjoining temporary markets, for ten days, district authorities in Manipur have announced different forms of restrictions including the rotational opening of shops and early closure of markets to tackle the surge in Covid-19 infections, officials said.
The deputy commissioners of districts issued separate orders in this regard in the past few days as a preventive measure in view of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
The deputy commissioner of Imphal West district, where the state capital is located, issued an order on Saturday, directing only one in every three shops, located at 16 important markets under its jurisdictions, to open on rotation.
At the same time, one in every three shops located along the eight important streets in and around Imphal will be allowed to open on rotation apart from applying the same pattern in the busy Thangal and Paona Bazars, the two major markets in the state.
“This order shall have immediate effect and remain in force until further orders,” the order said. Earlier, all public transport vehicles were also directed to carry passengers up to maximum half capacity and ensure every traveller wears face masks, besides imposing night curfew from 7 pm to 5 am till April 30.
On the other hand, as a preventive and precautionary measure against the second wave of Covid-19, deputy commissioner, Senapati district, issued an order on Thursday, asking all shops at Senapati town, 60 kilometres north of Imphal, to close down by 2 pm.
As per the order, all such shops in the hill town (Senapati) where shopkeepers are seen without masks will be forced to close for three consecutive days. The order also directed that the vehicles driven without people wearing masks will be seized over and above the penal provision.
The Manipur government announced the closure of the Ima Keithel, also known as Nupi Keithel (women’s market), for ten days since April 21. The women’s market was reopened only on February 15 this year after it was shut for nearly 11 months amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
On Saturday, Manipur reported 130 new Covid-19 positive cases, breaching the highest single-day spike this year again. With this, the state’s total infection tally jumps to 30,281 besides increasing the total number of active cases to 705, officials said. Even though 29,193 patients (including 13 on Saturday) have recovered so far, the recovery rate has been reduced to 96.40% in the state, sources said. The cumulative number of Covid-19 deaths stands at 383.
As of Saturday, 6,59,403 people were screened at the entry points of the state while 6,02,832 were tested for Covid-19 across various testing centres in the state.
So far, a total of 1,23,720 people, including healthcare workers and frontline workers, in Manipur have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. On the other hand, 62,146 healthcare workers and frontline workers have received their second shot of vaccine.