N Biren Singh
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Friday said the state government has apprised the Union ministry of external affairs to take necessary steps for evacuating the stranded Manipuri students abroad.

Chief minister N Biren conveyed the development while addressing a press conference in connection with the state’s precautionary measures taken up in connection with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The press conference was held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat at the lawn of chief minister’s official bungalow in Imphal on Friday.

The state government has also asked the family of those students to submit the details and other information of the students to the government, he said.

Expressing that the primary concern of the government, at this hour, is to protect and save the lives of the people, the economy and others can be considered later on, he said.

COVID-19 should not be taken lightly as it hasn’t reached Manipur instead people should follow the precautionary measures and norms laid down by the World Health Organisation and the government, said N Biren.

He also added that prevention is the best way to fight the disease from spreading.

Urging the people of the state to give their full support and cooperation to fight pandemic COVID-19, he assured that all steps necessary are being taken to ensure that there is no shortage of essential items like groceries, fuel and medicines in the state.

He urged the people to make purchases as normal, and not hoard essential items in panic buying.

Stating that the next 2-3 weeks will be very “crucial for all of us”, he said, “We must support and help each other to fight the deadly disease”

He appealed to the elderly, senior citizens and those above 65 years of age to remain indoors and not to leave their homes for the next few weeks.

The Manipur CM said the people should support the nationwide Janta Curfew, announced by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22, 2020.

“During this curfew,” he said, “People should neither leave their homes nor get onto the streets or roam about our localities.”

Principal secretary to health and family Welfare) V Vumlunmang, secretary to chief minister Ningthoujam Geoffrey were present during the press conference.

Sobhapati Samom

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at: ssamom@gmail.com