NE govts seek help from states for their stranded students, workers
The governments in the northeastern states, while to contain the coronavirus pandemic, on Monday urged states where students, workers and others from the region are stranded in view of the nation-wide lockdown to accord them all assistance, officials said.
Meanwhile, Union Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitendra Singh said that cargo flights are being used exclusively for transporting medical equipment and emergency goods, besides other essential items to northeastern states, in the wake of lockdown situation.
According to an official release, the Minister said that the Civil Aviation Ministry has approved the initiative taken by the airports of the northeastern region.
"This would go a long way in reassuring the people of the northeastern region that even at this hour of trial, they are receiving as much attention as any other part of the country," the release said as saying by the minister.
In another significant step, in pursuance to Supreme Court's order, different state governments of the northeastern region have taken several steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Jails.
Also, the five-day long Durga Puja (Basanti puja) is being observed in an extremely low-key manner to maintain social distancing norms.
The Assam government has requested various state governments in the country to take care the students, stranded people and workers of the northeastern region.
"The Assam government wants that the students, stranded people and workers of the northeastern region should not return to the region to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus," an Assam Health and Family Welfare Department official, who did not want to be identified, said.
A large number of people including students from the northeastern states had to go to other states for education, jobs and medical treatments.
Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal on Monday visited Bongaigaon and Barpeta districts to assess the ground situation.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Munna Prasad Gupta said that the city residents are following the lockdown norms well.
Assam's Principal Secretary, Education, B. Kalyan Chakravarthy said that mid-day meal has been served to over 40 lakh school students by the department maintaining the social distancing and proper hygiene.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb also wrote to his counterparts in many states for providing food, accommodation, security and health services to the people of Tripura stranded in their states.
Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma said that the Tata Trusts headed by Ratan Tata had constituted a fund of Rs 1,500 crore and the state government had sought help from this fund.
"We have sought 100 ventilators, 50,000 personal protective equipments, one lakh N95 masks, 50,000 sanitisers and other materials. We were assured by the Tata Trusts officials that they would consider our requests," Dev Varma told the media.
Meanwhile, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Ashim Saha decided to shift the seven major markets, mostly vegetable sellers, to the nearby play grounds and big fields to maintain the social distancing.
In Aizawl, Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that instructions have been given to take care the Mizos stranded in different parts of the country by the Mizoram Bhavan authorities in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and other places.
A Mizoram Home Department official said that at the instance of Chief Minister Zoramthanga and Home Minister Lalchamliana, 28 Mizos, including 11 children, who had gone to Myanmar to visit their relatives and were then stranded between India and Myanmar borders for two nights, were brought back to the state.
"The returnees have been quarantined at the Champhai Deputy Commissioner's office," the official said.
In Meghalaya, Lok Sabha members -- Vincent H. Pala and Agatha K. Sangma on Monday allotted Rs one crore each from their MPLADS fund to meet the expenses to deal with the Covid-19.
A health official in Shillong said that over 7,700 people, who recently returned to the state, have been under quarantine and over 40 samples examined so far, all of which tested negative for the nCoV.
The official said that work is also in progress to create a 500 isolation beds (200 in Shillong and 300 in Tura) for suspected and possible confirmed Covid-19 patients in the state. IANS