Imphal, May 07 2020: Even as the State police continue to crack down on lockdown violators detaining as many as 886 people yesterday, the personnel are having a hard time enforcing COVID-19 regulations significantly due to people flouting the advisories laid down to prevent spread of the disease.
Ignorance coupled with lack of commitment towards fighting COVID-19 among people, are some of the reasons that are keeping police personnel on their toes 24×7 to enforce the lockdown amidst the pandemic that has infected more than 52,000 in India.
Speaking exclusively with The Sangai Express, Imphal West SP K Meghachandra warned that the COVID-19 issue is far from over even though the State has zero cases today.
It may come back if public are ignorant of the Government guidelines and advisories of the health experts, he said.
Strict implementation of COVID-19 management protocols and fighting the dreaded disease require concerted efforts of the Government, Health Department, police, public and civil bodies in the State.
“With meagre strength in number, no matter how strictly we enforce the lockdown, if people choose not to follow the instructions and guidelines, all efforts to fight the disease will be futile.
People should be voluntarily enforcing and effecting the lockdown and COVID-19 safety measures,” he said.
“There have been some instances of vehicles hitting police personnel while enforcing the lockdown,” he said claiming majority of the people venture out during lockdown for things that are not essential and can be avoided.
Even as people are advised to avoid pillion riding, many ignore this advice, he said.
When asked about the scenario in the markets and public places in and around Imphal City, Meghachandra pointed out that the total number of shops exclusively in Thangal Bazar and Paona Bazar is around 900 .
“It is impossible for police deployed in the area to be stationed at every shop to enforce social distancing.
People should voluntarily maintain social distancing for their own safety,” he said.
“One should be aware that every crowded place is a risk area where COVID-19 can spread easily.
Even as they (people) know this, they throng shops and markets whenever lockdown is relaxed.
Such ignorance on part of public may put all of us at risk of being infected with the disease that has killed lakhs worldwide,” he said.
Stating that police personnel have been making routine patrolling even in residential and rural areas to enforce the lockdown, he lamented that gathering of more than four/ five people is a common sight.
The Police Department and all authorities concerned of the State Government are closely monitoring the scenario in the State and holding review meetings frequently on COVID-19, he said appealing people to cooperate and strictly follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines.