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Improved COVID-19 situation leads to further relaxation in Meghalaya

Correspondent Shillong, May 2 | Publish Date: 5/3/2020 9:07:07 AM IST

The Meghalaya government on Saturday announced further relaxation in curfew and market activities after no report of any fresh positive COVID-19 case in the last 14 days.

Meghalaya has just one active case. The 12th patient has tested negative for COVID-19 in the first test and if the second test report comes out negative, the patient would be also declared recovered, a health official said.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong sounded confident that Meghalaya would be COVID-19 free soon.

“We are yet to receive the last test of the last patient. We are safe and there is nothing to worry. We would be able to contain this infection very soon and be able to declare Meghalaya as a COVID free state,” he told journalists in his daily briefings.

“The government with the various departments is working tirelessly to ensure that there is no new infection in the future,” he said, adding that the government with the various departments is working tirelessly to ensure that there is no new infection in the future.

As on Saturday, the Deputy Chief Minister said samples of 1,707 individuals have been tested. From these, 1,655 samples yielded negative while the outcome of 40 samples were awaited.

On Friday, East Khasi Hills district, which had reported 12 COVID-19 cases so far and] declared a hotspot, has moved from red zone to orange zone. 

Tynsong also informed that the government in its review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Saturday decided to open up the economy and restore some normalcy from Monday onwards while taking a slew of important decisions.

“We have decided to resume various activities in the state from May 4. Day curfew will be lifted from May 3, only night curfew from 7.00 p.m to 7.00 a.m  in the Shillong agglomeration areas would continue,” he said.

“Besides the existing relaxation in construction works, the opening of electrical shops, hardware shops and wine stores will also be allowed in Shillong agglomeration, even as the district administration has been directed to work on ensuring that strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are maintained,” the Deputy Chief Minister announced.

Furthermore, Tynsong also informed all  officers and heads of departments in the State Secretariat to report for duty while Grade C and Grade D employees would function with 33 percent attendance.

“Health protocols would have to be adhered to in totality. This in fact means that physical distance and proper hygiene would have to be maintained at all these places,” Tynsong maintained.

Meanwhile, the government said that stranded citizens from the state scheduled to return in phase wise from May 5 will have to adhere strictly to the health protocols.

He said there would be four entry points at Ratacherra (East Jaintia Hills district,) Byrnihat (Ri-Bhoi district,) Bajengdoba (West Garo Hills district) and Tikrikilla (West Garo Hills district.) 

“The government would take in stranded people in the Northeast State from May 5 after they register online or call on designated helpline numbers. They will be screened at various entry points and if need be, in case anybody shows symptoms, he or she will be tested with the Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits and thereon will be allowed to either go for institutional quarantine or home quarantine,”  Tynsong said.

However, he said that anyone testing positive would have to go to health Institutions for treatment.

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