Urging the people of Manipur not to worry about shortage of COVID-19 testing kits, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has informed that 40,000 RAT kits have arrived in Imphal on Wednesday.
Maintaining that the people of Manipur have collectively faced the COVID-19 pandemic diligently, he also said that the Government is grateful to healthcare workers, volunteers, community organizations, local leaders, police, etc. for their dedicated efforts. Stating that the State Government has been complying with the guidelines and SoPs laid down by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs and ICMR, the Chief Minister said that the people of the State should understand that the Government of India also modifies guidelines from time to time.
With the beginning of the Unlock process as initiated by the Government of India, he said, people are getting back to normal activities. As such, it is likely that the number of COVID-19 cases may also rise, the Chief Minister cautioned. He further stated that the State Government’s efforts in the past some months have resulted to a “low positivity rate”, satisfactory recovery rate and low case fatality rate in Manipur. So, this is a good starting point as the State transitions into the Unlock phase and resume normal livelihood and development activities, he added.
N. Biren informed that the collective efforts of the people and the Government have resulted to a “low COVID-19 positivity rate” of 4.77% and this is far below the national average. The Government is aggrieved of the fatalities, but it is also a fact that the State’s fatality rate of 0.64% is lower than the national average. Manipur’s testing achievement of 90,156 tests per million population is also higher than the national average, he said.
According to Biren Singh, the State Government has spent over Rs. 60 crores in tackling COVID-19 till now. Major expenses are on COVID testing, expenses in setting up and operating Quarantine Centres, COVID Care Centres, handling of returnees, etc. Inspite of resource constraints, the State Government still stands committed to spare no effort in tackling the pandemic, the Chief Minister said.
N. Biren then maintained that doctors and experts have tracked and monitored the daily COVID-19 data and analyzed trends and projections regularly. New information about the virus and revised protocols of ICMR, MoHFW, MHA, WHO are constantly taken into account, he added.
Based on the growing knowledge about the virus, the Chief Minister said, home isolation of positive people is now an accepted protocol of MoHFW and adopted actively by many States and countries around the world. In Manipur also, over 600 positive cases have already opted for Home Isolation successfully, he informed.
Though the Government would continue to expand COVID Care Centres as per requirements, wider adoption of safe and convenient Home Isolation is also encouraged, he said. N. Biren also said that the Government and private hospitals have been advised to attend to symptomatic COVID and non-COVID patients as per protocol and ensure there is no denial of service. 24×7 Hospitalization Helpline number (1800-103-2015) remains functional, he said.
He also urged the public to adopt the three proven COVID prevention actions, viz. wearing face-mask in crowded places, frequent hand washing and maintaining physical distancing.