IMPHAL: The mandatory practice of bio-metric attendance in all Manipur government offices has been suspended for a month as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus outbreak in the country which has so far infected 31 people, officials said here on Friday.
"The coronavirus may spread through hand contamination and as a preventive measure, the bio-metric attendance of government offices in Manipur has been suspended for one month," a state Health and Family Welfare Department official said.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Thursday held a meeting with state government officials and reviewed the steps taken as precautionary measures.
The Chief Minister said that since mid-January, the state government has been taking various precautionary steps and following the advisories of the Central government to check the spread of the COVID-19.
"So far not a single positive case of COVID-19 was detected in Manipur. Screening for visitors has been going on at entry points at the international borders with Myanmar and at the airport. Tourists and other newcomers are allowed to enter Manipur after studying the travelling history and other details of the person concerned," Singh added.
According to the Chief Minister, screening of a total number of 1,21,629 air passengers and other visitors have been so far and 12 suspected cases were found.
"Out of the 12 suspected cases, the test reports of 10 samples were found negative while laboratory test reports of the other two samples were awaited. The Manipur government has kept two isolation wards ready in the main hospital in Imphal for any eventuality," he added.
Manipur Health and Family Welfare Department has deployed medical officers along the border towns of Moreh and Behiang to screen all people -- both foreigners and Indians -- entering the state after travelling from China or any other neighbouring countries.