ITANAGAR : The Arunachal Pradesh health department has suggested the government to defer the ensuing municipal and panchayat elections in the state citing the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The department made the recommendation during a meeting with the State Election Commission which was convened in Itanagar on Wednesday to discuss issues related to the elections.
Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme’s (IDSP) state surveillance officer, Dr L Jampa, who made a presentation regarding the status of COVID-19 in the said meeting, said that “the elections may be deferred to prevent the spread of the disease as notified by the state government against mass gatherings.”
The state unit of National People’s Party (NPP) had also on Tuesday called upon the state government to defer elections citing similar reasons.
Meanwhile, the department of health in an advisory issued to all the students returning to Arunachal from other states due to closure of their educational institutions has asked to practise social distancing by quarantining themselves at their homes for a period of 14 days.
AAPSU appeal: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has called upon the state government to take necessary initiatives to protect and relocate Arunachalee students who are studying in various states of the country in the wake of the coronavirus scare.
AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai on Wednesday said that “many students studying outside Arunachal are in a state of panic and are confused as to what has to be done, while many have also expressed their desire to return to their homes at the earliest.”
In states like Maharashtra which have been affected the most by the coronavirus outbreak, the colleges and hostels have been ordered immediate shutdown. Recently 12 Arunachal students studying in the JT Mahajan College of Engineering, Faizpur had faced serious hardships in arranging their train tickets and fare as they were directed to vacate their hostels within three days. There are chances of similar happenings in other colleges as well, as there are many students who are studying in rural areas,” Dai said.
The AAPSU further said that the state government, while sensing the urgency of the matter, should immediately open a line of communication with its counterparts across the country and ask them to assist the Arunachali students in arranging their transportation as well as other relief measures, especially for the students who are stuck in vulnerable and critically affected states.
The union also urged the MPs of the state to render all possible and necessary support in bringing back the students from the affected states.