The Manipur government has decided to make wearing face masks compulsorily in public places, including offices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, sources in Imphal said.
The State Government also issued instructions for the government offices for immediate compliance of the order.
All state government offices, including the secretariat, directorate/chief engineer offices and treasuries are asked to strictly enforce wearing of face masks.
Stating that deputy commissioners shall enforce the same rules in all government offices in the districts, it said the heads of department/heads of offices will arrange checking of all staff/visitors entering the office building.
Signboards instructing to wear face masks to be displayed prominently outside the building and also in the office doors, it said.
In any official meetings, the chairperson of the meeting shall ensure that all participants are wearing face masks.
Officials are asked not to entertain any visitor not wearing a face mask.
All Central Government offices in Manipur are also requested to adopt the same norms for their employees and visitors, the instruction note said.
All banks, PSUs, financial institutions in Manipur will adopt the same norms for their employees and clients.
It stated that all hospitals/clinics (government and private) will enforce wearing of face masks by all patients and visitors and MD/MS shall be the responsible authority adding that all healthcare workers are to wear suitable types of masks as per protocol.
It also reminded that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has advised wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Various scientific studies have shown that wearing cloth face masks reduces COVID-19 infection in non hospital settings, it said.
Sources said since the majority of COVID-19 persons have no symptoms, there is a chance of meeting an infected person unknowingly anywhere.
Therefore, wearing face masks to prevent infection is very important.
Countries that have controlled the spread of COVID-19, such as Japan and Korea, had adopted use of face masks by everyone, it added.