Pema Khandu
Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu inspecting the control room. Image credit – Northeast Now

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has appealed to the people of the state to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Janta Curfew’ on Sunday.

The Prime Minister on Thursday had urged the citizens of the country to follow the concept of ‘Janta Curfew’ on March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Though no case of COVID-19 or Coronavirus has been detected in the state so far, however, going by the pace in which it is spreading across the globe, it would impossible for the government and its officials to contain the virus alone,” said Khandu on Saturday.

In his message to the people of the state, Khandu said: “We will be successful in containing and combating the virus only if we work together and support the state and central government in its efforts.”

“It is important for us to fight against this pandemic together as the next two weeks are very sensitive for us all,” Khandu added.

He further appealed to all to implement and support the preventive measures adopted by the government.

“Please stay away from public gatherings and maintain social distancing,” Khandu said.

“Wash your hands properly if you come in contact with anything and follow all such advisories which have been issued by the government,” the CM said in his message.

He further urged the people of the state not to step out of their homes during the ‘Janta Curfew’ unless it is unavoidable.

He requested all to come out to their doorsteps or windows at 5 pm and clap to express gratitude to those who have been working in the frontlines during this health crisis as appealed by Prime Minister Modi.

The chief minister on the day also interacted with all the deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and district medical officers to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Khandu in his address to the district heads spoke on the need for all districts to be equipped with necessary items and equipment for prevention of spread of coronavirus.

He assured to meet the demand of the districts for procurement of these items and also urged the DCs to involve SHGs and institutes in preparation of sanitizers and protective masks.

Further on preventive measures, the Arunachal Pradesh CM emphasized on rapid information dissemination and requested all DIPROs to be fully involved in it.

He also emphasized that wherever necessary local dialects are used and all medium of transmission including radio, TVs and social media be involved.

On quarantine and isolation facilities identified across the states, Khandu said these isolation wards are yet to be fully equipped with all facilities and therefore assured of releasing immediate funds.

The chief minister also directed the concerned authorities to monitor the travel history of government staff on leave and ensure that they follow disinfection procedures as soon they enter the state.

To prevent any panic buying and hoarding of essential items, Khandu urged the district authorities to keep public in confidence and spread no words that may create a panic situation.

He also requested the food and civil supply department to ensure the availability of all essential items and to keep stock of these items that could last for several months.

The chief minister directed the DCs to fully involve the community apex body in fight against coronavirus.

He asked them to involve them in preventing any social, religious, or cultural gatherings. He also directed that no district heads to leave their respective place of postings during such a challenging time.

Since Arunachal has no reported case of coronavirus and in anticipation that it could only come through those entering the state, the CM directed strict screening process of all the travellers and to keep a record of their travel history and to maintain a record of all such travelers.

He also directed for proper coordination between connecting districts to monitor the status of all Arunachalees entering the state and no tourists or visitors from outside the state be allowed even if they are in possession of ILPs.

Khandu later also inspected the control room set up by the government for preventive and surveillance and its facilities in the civil secretariat here.

The control room would be the central point for transmitting information regarding COVID-19 across the city.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: