The closure will also include all kinds of street vendors in the state, reports say Credit: Representational image

Imphal: Taking precautionary steps amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Friday ordered the closure of the main Ima Keithel aka Mother’s Market, among others, in state capital Imphal.

Ima Keithel is believed to be the largest all-women-run market in Asia and possibly in the world. It will be temporarily closed down starting from March 21 to 25.

The closure will also include all kinds of street vendors in the state, as per reports.

This was informed after the CM on Friday inspected Khwairamband Ima Keithel to take stock of the situation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We mutually agreed that from tomorrow (March 21), three women markets and a temporary market in Imphal will be closed. Further, all the women’s markets in the hill district headquarters in the state will also be closed,” the chief minister wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Also Read: Coronavirus: Total no. of cases in India now stands at 271 | LIVE

After interacting with the women vendors and shoppers at the state’s commercial hub, CM Singh also appealed the citizens, especially the buyers, not to indulge in panic buying and avoid unnecessary gathering.

Moreover, as per the notice issued by the commissioner (MAHUD), the district commissioners of Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Kakching, Churachandpur, Tengnoupal and Jiribam were instructed to ensure closure of mother’s markets at their respective district headquarters during the five-day period.

Maintaining a 1-metre distance between the sellers and buyers, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, is not possible in some of the most crowded markets in the state, risking virus transmission to both the parties if the deadly disease spreads in the state.

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