Mizoram MinisterAIZAWL, May 11: Mizoram Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana said he has asked the Centre for help in bringing back stranded Mizoram residents from foreign countries. During a video conference with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday, Lalthangliana informed him that there are more than 500 Mizoram residents who are stranded abroad. 

“Not a single Mizoram resident has been included among the 15,000 stranded Indians brought home by the Indian government,” Lalthangliana informed Vardhan and asked for his help. The Union Minister assured Lalthangliana of all possible assistance, an official statement said. According to official sources, 300 stranded residents have reported to Mizoram government, most of them working in cruise ships and being stuck in the sea. The rest are students, workers and those who visited relatives. So far, about 1,200 Mizoram residents have returned from different states in India. 

Over 1,700 people fined: The Mizoram administration has started implementing the recently-approved ‘Containment and Prevention of COVID-19 Ordinance 2020’ and pulled up 1,715 violators under the new statutory order. It may be mentioned here that the Mizoram Cabinet had approved an ordinance known as ‘Containment and Prevention of Covid-19 Ordinance 2020’ a few days ago so that the State Government takes stringent measures to curb further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As per the development, anyone violating the lockdown in Mizoram will be meted out “exemplary punishment”. Last month, stray incidents were reported in Mizoram in connection with lockdown violation. According to Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) LH Shanliana, a total of 1,715 people were fined for violating guidelines and rules ever since the ordinance came into effect, i.e., from May 4. The Police department collected over Rs 4 lakh as fine from violators of the ordinance. The police officer then said that people not wearing masks in public places formed the major chunk of violators of the ordinance. 

The state capital Aizawl witnessed the highest number of violators of the ordinance while Lunglei district recorded the second highest number of violators. The new ordinance of the Mizoram government says that any individual who “exposes the identity of COVID-19 patients in print, electronic or on social media without the prior permission from the competent authorities will be punished with imprisonment of 3 months or with a fine up to Rs 5,000 or both”. It further says that Rs 5,000 fine will be imposed on people “who cross border or enter the state, or organizing social or religious events without permission or escaping from quarantine facility”. 

A fine of Rs 300 will also be imposed on people who spit in public, Rs 200 for failing to maintain social distancing protocol and Rs 100 for failing to wear mask in public places. The ordinance also seeks to punish anyone who fails to comply with any other instruction or guideline issued by the Centre or State government of Mizoram, including lockdown guidelines issued from time to time with fine amounting to Rs 1,000. Those avoiding or attempting to evade quarantine will be fined Rs 3,000. A fine of Rs 500 will be slapped against those who fail to comply with instructions or guidelines and endangering the safety of others while staying at designation quarantine facilities. ~Assam Tribune

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