COVID-19 cases rise in Meghalaya

Correspondent Shillong, Jul 27 | Publish Date: 7/27/2020 12:43:51 PM IST

 Shillong goes under three-day total lockdown

The COVID-19 curve continues to climb up in Meghalaya with 36 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Monday, taking the number of active cases to 547, with majority of the infected being from the “BSF cluster followed by returnees”, a government statement said.

State capital Shillong which alone accounts for 443 active cases is under three-day lockdown. 

The three-day lockdown started in Shillong agglomeration on Monday was necessitated in view of the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and to enable the health authorities to carry out contact tracing extensively.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma held a meeting with his cabinet minister, Chief Secretary M.S.Rao and senior officials from the Health and Family Welfare department to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the State.

As on Monday, fresh positive cases include 32 in East Khasi Hills (12 Border Security Force, one armed force personal and 19 civilians), two in East Jaintia Hills and one each in West Garo Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts. “As far as community transmission of COVID-19 virus in the State is concerned, as per definition, ‘community transmission’ means that the COVID-19 virus has become so widespread in a community that it gets difficult, if not impossible, to determine who is passing on the infection to whom," an e-mailed statement issued by Meghalaya Information and Public Relations read. 

"However, in case of Meghalaya, the clusters of most cases have been identified through extensive contact tracing exercise and the remaining ones will soon be identified as the contact tracing exercise is underway. As per the assessment of the Health Authorities, there is no Community Transmission suspected,” the statement further specified. 

Of the 547 active cases in the State, the BSF and armed forces account for 285 besides 262 civilians.

East Khasi Hills has 443 active cases, including 243 BSF, 174 civilians and 26 armed forces personnel.

West Khasi Hills has 3 cases, Ri Bhoi 52, West Jaintia Hills 10, East Jaintia Hills 15, West Garo Hills 16, South West Garo Hills 4, South Garo Hills 2, East Garo Hills one.

Meghalaya has registered 738 confirmed cases, including five deaths and 186 recoveries so far.

Meanwhile,  the Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, a banner of traditional heads, has strongly urged the State government to consider a two weeks complete lockdown in the entire state so as to effectively contain, isolate and defeat the speed at which the coronavirus is spreading in the state.

In a letter to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya chairman, John Fillmore Kharshiing said that the Federation of Khasi States and a number of traditional chiefs from all over have expressed their serious concern over the alarming situation in the State.

The challenges faced by the State government in ‘enforcing compliance due to the difficult behaviour by the general public provides no other option other than the alternative to strongly urge the State government to consider a two weeks complete lockdown in the entire state,’ Kharshiing asserted.

With no vaccine or medicine to treat or cure people from the virus, ‘we are left with no other option but to adopt aggressive measures to protect the community at large, and we are sure that people of the state will be willing to endure such interim hardship in the interest of the overall benefit of their own safety,’ he added.

Underscoring the need for a two-week lockdown, Kharshiing added, “A two-week lockdown may sound harsh, but again not considering aggressive and quick early decisions may lead to loss of more precious lives. Desperate times call for desperate measures. A two weeks lockdown will help to bring down the graphic curve of positive cases.”

Meanwhile, Meghalaya police has temporarily shut Khliehriat Police Station and Khliehriat Women Police Station in East Jaintia Hills following detection of COVID-19 cases. 

Meghalaya police spokesperson, Gabriel Iangrai said both the police stations have been placed under medical observation and at present all official works of both the police stations have been shifted to Ladrymbai Out-Post.

 “The police stations are being disinfected as per protocols and these establishments will only start functioning after being declared fit for re-occupation,” he said. 


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