Imphal: Acting upon the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases in a little over one week in Manipur, the state government in an emergency cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday evening unanimously decided to bring back the remaining stranded persons home after all the returnees currently stationed at quarantine centres complete their COVID-19 testing.
In Manipur, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases has risen to 25, with 23 active cases and two already discharged from hospital after being declared free from the virus.
According to chief secretary J Suresh Babu, at present, the testing capacity per day has been increased from 200 to 900; however, in order to intensify the COVID-19 testing spree, the state is aiming to scale up the testing to 1,500 per day.
The state cabinet also decided to streamline and to bring back the stranded persons in phases from various parts of the country in order to avoid crowding and to maintain social distancing in the quarantine centres.
For this, it has decided to segregate the incoming people from the existing inmates in quarantine centres and not to mix them up to control the spread of COVID-19, Babu said in a statement.
So far, at least six Indian Railways’ special trains have arrived in the state and ferried over 5,000 stranded Manipur natives from various metro cities. Two more trains are arriving at Jiribam in the state on Thursday from Uttarakhand/ Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad.
In line with the state’s efforts to bring back stranded persons amid the lockdown, two more trains ferrying more than 1,500 passengers have flagged off from Pune, Chennai and Goa on Thursday and are expected to arrive in the state by May 23, the official said.
Two trains from Delhi have been scheduled for May 23 and 25, whereas one each train from Bangalore and Hyderabad are set to be kick-started on May 22 and 23, respectively.
Trains for those stranded citizens in Gujarat and Rajasthan are likely to start on May 24; however, final confirmation for scheduled timing is awaited, the official said.
The cabinet also resolved to allow to transport back the stranded persons in the state up till May 25 in the first phase; however, the timing for the second phase is yet to be finalised depending on the testing status of those who are in the quarantine centres.
Also, to improve the functionalities of the community quarantine centres the state cabinet has also approved to sanction Rs 10 lakh to each constituency from MLALADS funds.
Community quarantine centres across districts are being treated as pooled centres for more effective control of the virus in addition to over 35 identified institutional quarantine centres in the state.
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