‘Reopening of the Khwairamband Ima Keithel would be risky’

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Imphal: Khwairamband Nupi Keithel, Sinpham Amadi Saktam Kanba Lup, a vendor organisation, says reopening of Ima Keithel (a unique market, operated by only women, in the heart of Imphal city) would be risky in the present alarming situation of the Covid-19 crisis in the state, which has recorded a total of 1390 positive cases till Monday.

Total shutdown has been imposed at all the four Ima Keithels (markets) at Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic since March 20 to prevent from widespread of the disease in the state, the vendor organisation said in statement released on Tuesday.

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Due to the disease people over the globe has been facing crisis and many have fallen in the jaws of death while many are under medical treatment fighting for their lives. At present the nationwide lockdown has been extended till July 15 as a measure taken up by the government to protect people from the disease, it added.

“The present situation in the state is alarming. There is fear of community spread of the disease when transmitted to the frontline warriors —security personnel, and doctors and nurses of the health department who are tirelessly fighting to control the disease. Hence reopening of the Khwairamband Ima Keithel would be risky,” the organisation said stating that there is no enough space for social distancing at the market as the stalls are very close to one another.

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Even if the market is reopened on rotation basis, it will be hard to control the market place. Everyone is suffering due to the pandemic. A time will come when brining back of stranded denizens from outside the state is over and when infection stops rising, it said and urged all to wait until that moment.

Vendors about 5-6 thousand, who depend their livelihood on the market, have been suffering due to market shutdown for about 4 months. Acknowledging the suffering of the vendors the state government had accepted to provide assistance to vendors. The government should materialise the agreement, vendor organisation appealed.

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Many vendors of the market come out on streets and footpaths in Imphal beyond Khwairamband Ima Keithel area and open stalls during unrestricted hours of the lockdown.

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