Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh attending the cabinet meet held in Imphal on Monday

Imphal: With Manipur not reporting any new positive COVID-19 cases, the state government on Monday decided to partially relax certain essential activities amidst the national lockdown till May 3, 2020.

The decision was taken after a high-level cabinet meeting held in Imphal chaired by chief minister N Biren Singh in view of the severe hardships faced by the public amid total curfew to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

In an order issued by governor Najma Heptulla, the state willl start economic activities as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) under the guidelines issued by the Union ministry of home affairs.

The activities include supply of essential goods, including home delivery of essential goods, opening of locality based-grocery stores, vegetable vendors, fruits, poultry meat and fish shops in all districts from 6 am to 2 pm daily, except on Sundays.

Wholesale markets in Imphal shall open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for selling of retails shops as per permit issued by deputy commissioners concerned, the order said.

However, movement of people on vehicles will continue to be barred, except for those having passes, it said.

Several activities, including construction and repairing of roads, labour work under MNREGA shall be carried out in rural areas with strict implementation of social distancing and usage of face masks in public space, the statement said.

Interstate borders at Mao, Jiribam and Jessami shall be opened for goods carrier vehicles to enter the state and vice versa with proper SOP.

In terms of commercial and private establishments, print and electronic media shall continue to operate as well as food processing units, courier services and home delivery of food by restaurants and outlets are exempted from the lockdown.

For the movement of persons, only private vehicles for emergency services, including medical and veterinary care, will be allowed for movement during the lockdown period in the state.

All state government offices shall be opened with a mandatory thermal scanning at entry and exits at all offices as precautionary measure to contain the spread of the virus.

However, apart from the staff, non-essentials visitors will not be entertained or allowed to visit the sites, the statement further said.

Farmers at the rural areas in the state may proceed with their agricultural activities while maintaining social distancing and usage of face mask to protect themselves from the virus, it said.

Meanwhile, plying of public transportation within Imphal and inter-districts remained restricted to prevent from possibility of contracted the deadly disease in public space.

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