Imphal, September 18 2021: The two-day-seminar on ‘Academia and Media Responses during COVID-19 Pandemic in Manipur’ held at the Court Hall of Manipur University, Canchipur concluded on Saturday.
The inaugural function of the seminar, which was organised by Manipur University in collaboration with National Health Mission, Manipur, was held with chief minister N Biren as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM appreciated the faculty members, students and officials of Manipur University for their contribution in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of the first wave.
He lauded the students of the University for producing hand sanitizers during the time when supply of hand sanitizers was very limited.
The University had also provided much support by opening Quarantine Centres for accommodating inmates during the crucial hour of the pandemic when the state was facing shortage of beds earlier, he noted.
Reflecting on the current situation of the pandemic in the state, the chief minister maintained that the positivity and death rates have now declined and added that the selfless effort of medical staff, officials and the support of public enabled the government to implement containment measures effectively.
He also stressed the need for complete vaccination of all the eligible persons to successfully prevent spread of the deadly virus.
He further informed that the state government had sent 2054 samples for genome sequencing, of which 771 out 1002 samples tested turned out to be of Delta Variant.
As such, he urged the public to continue following COVID appropriate behaviour to prevent infection with such variants.
Stating that the media has a very important role to play in disseminating information and providing awareness about COVID-19 pandemic, he regretted that certain misleading information circulated on the social media created panic to the public and became an impediment to the government’s initiatives to contain the pandemic.
As such, the media should always disseminate the right information to the public knowing its importance in shaping a society, he stressed.
Biren conceded that fighting COVID-19 earlier posed serious challenge as the state had inadequate infrastructure.
But now, with development brought in health care infrastructure like oxygen plants, dedicated COVID hospitals and manpower, the government is prepared to face any eventualities, he affirmed while informing that process is underway to recruit around 300 medical officers through the Manipur Public Service Commission as well as nursing staff to meet the manpower requirement.
Regarding the relocation of Assam Rifles outpost from Manipur University, he said that the Government had started taking up steps for the same and assured that the outpost would be relocated soon.
With regard to a foot bridge to be constructed in front of the University main gate, he assured to look into matter.
Delivering his presidential speech, MU vice-chancellor Prof N Lokendra Singh stated the media houses of the state are playing-an important role during the pandemic period by disseminating information on Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Government from time to time to the public apart from providing information and creating awareness.
He also maintained that academia too had been working to find out ways to control the pandemic and lauded students and research scholars of the University for producing hand sanitizers and sensitizing people about COVID-19 .
Chief Minister Biren also released a compendium during the programme, which was attended by Dean of School of Agricultural Science Prof M Shyamkesho, Editors Guild Manipur advisor A Mobi, officials of Manipur University, resource persons and students of Manipur University.