Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said that the state government has not issued any travel advisory to healthcare workers, including nurses and doctors, working outside the state to return to their home amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
In a televised interview, Singh said: “We feel proud of them when they are working in hospitals in Kolkata and other metro cities, and serving the people.”
However, if our healthcare workers, be it nurses or the doctors, do not feel comfortable in their services where they are working, it is up to them to return home, the chief minister added.
“If they have been victimised or discriminated at their workplaces, I cannot force them to stay back and continue to work there. And that could be one of the reasons why they left their jobs and returned to the state,” he said.
Singh’s remarks came following reports of mass resignation of professional nurses from Manipur working in various private hospitals based in Kolkata.
As per reports, at least 185 nurses from the state left for Manipur after resigning from their jobs amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in Kolkata.
According to CM Biren Singh, the state government has also announced to compensate for COVID-19 treatment for those healthcare workers from the state working in various parts of the country and infected by the virus during the line of duty.
In terms of COVID-19 fresh cases being reported from the returnees in the state, Singh said the state cannot deny the return of the stranded persons from various metros to the state amid the ongoing lockdown as people are going through difficult times while fighting against the virus.
“We are expecting some more positive cases since many stranded residents are coming back from orange and red zones,” he added.
“However, the state is fully prepared to face the consequences and we have enough manpower, quarantine centers and testing facilities,” Singh said, assuring the people not to panic but to remain calm while dealing with the health crisis.
Since May 13, the state government has brought back stranded persons from various cities by the Indian Railways’ special trains. A total of 1,141 passengers were the first lot of evacuees coming from Chennai to the state.
Two more trains with 932 and 1,450 passengers from Punjab and Bengaluru, respectively, have also reached Manipur.
At present, Manipur has seven positive cases, including five active cases and two discharged patients.