Hailakandi: Minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Suklabaidya reviewed the COVID-19 preparations here on Sunday. This was his second visit to Hailakandi. Minister Suklabaidya who is in charge of all the three districts of Barak Valley on Coronavirus, held a review meeting with Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli and other senior officials and took stock of the situation in view of two positive cases in adjoining districts of Karimganj and Cachar.
Deputy Commissioner Jalli apprised the minister about the slew of initiatives taken by the administration to prevent the spread of the disease and sealing of the border roads with Mizoram and inter-district borders with Karimganj and Cachar. She also apprised the minister about steps taken to ensure flow of essential commodities and cracking down on some retail fair price shops and wholesale dealers for anomalies and irregularities.
Later addressing mediapersons, Minister Suklabaidya said that the civil and police administrations and health authorities are taking all measures to prevent outbreak of Coronavirus and strictly enforcing the lockdown in the district.
He revealed that over 1,500 persons are under home quarantine, including the persons who returned from Markaz, Nizamuddin. The Minister said that though Karimganj and Cachar districts have one positive case each, Hailakandi has not a single case so far. All the blood samples sent to Silchar Medical College and Hospital have tested negative, he added.
Suklabaidya appealed to the people of Barak Valley in particular and the State as a whole not to step out of their homes during this crucial juncture and to main social distancing while coming out to buy essentials, to keep Coronavirus at bay. He appealed to the people to adhere to the lockdown guidelines of the government to make it easier for the health workers and officials who are working day in and day out to contain the spread of the disease.
The Minister said the process has begun in right earnest to identify the persons who came in contact with the infected COVID-19 persons. The minister said that adequate foodgrains are available and the people need not have to worry at all. He said 5 kg rice per person has been already distributed under NFSA and another 5 kg each will be given away to the beneficiaries in April. Besides, Rs.1,000 in cash will be given to those people who do not possess card through the gaon panchayats. Around 150-200 people depending upon the population of the gaon panchayat will get Rs.1,000 in cash in their homes.
He said the administration is arranging food and accommodation for migrant labourers and those from outside who are stranded due to the lockdown. Seeking the cooperation of the media during the extraordinary times, Suklabaidya urged them to keep an eye on the unscrupulous elements trying to hike prices of essential commodities and to bring it to the notice of the administration. He assured that stern action would be taken against them.
Briefing the mediapersons, Superintendent of Police, Pabindra Kumar Nath said that the police administration is leaving no stone unturned to enforce the lockdown strictly with several arrests being made and cases registered against the violators. He said the police is also creating awareness in villages on novel Coronavirus and rules to be observed regarding lockdown.
Nath said eight persons have been warned for objectionable posts in social media and asked them to remove the contents. The SP said henceforth no counselling will be given and police would take harsh action against anyone for objectionable or malicious post. Joint Director, Health Services, Dr.RC Dwivedy requested the media to drive home the message to the people that awareness vis-a-vis social distancing is the key to keep the dreaded virus at bay. ADC, Health, EL Faihraem and ADC, Ranadip Kumar Dam were also present.