M’laya shuts educational institutions till March 31

M’laya shuts educational institutions till March 31
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma replying to an adjournment motion on COVID-19 on Monday.
Correspondent Shillong, Mar 16 | Publish Date: 3/16/2020 10:10:45 AM IST

The Meghalaya government has ordered the shutdown of all educational institutions, places of mass gatherings like cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums and swimming pools from March 17 to March 31 as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 virus. However, examination centres for board, university and other institutions will however be allowed to continue.

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek laid on the table of the house a statement listing the various steps taken by the state health department to check the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

He informed that awareness regarding the dos and don’ts in this regard were being disseminated in local dialects and languages.

Hek said that conferences, workshops, meetings, seminars, trainings, major sporting events, which involve large gatherings are to be postponed or cancelled.

Hek also advised that notified fairs and festivals are to be postponed or cancelled and close contact in public transport is to be avoided, adding that companies or offices with work-from-home option may permit employees to do so.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Assembly on Monday has adjourned the ongoing budget session till March 19. 

Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh said that the House would assemble for just one more day on March 19, following which it would be adjourned. Assembly sources said that the government will pass a vote-on-account on March 19. A reassembled budget session will be held before June to pass the full budget. Replying to opposition Congress legislators George Lyngdoh and Miani D Shira, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma assured the House that the government is closely monitoring and has been taking all possible steps to tackle the situation.

Informing the House that no positive case has been reported in the state so far, Sangma said that measures will be taken to ensure that there is no dearth of essential commodities and check any possible attempt at hoarding.

He said the government would declare some products, like hand sanitizers and masks as essential commodities.  

A toll free number (108) has been activated 24 x 7 for answering to all public queries regarding the Corona virus.

Sangma said that the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) has been identified as one of the testing centres for corona virus. Moreover, he said that almost all districts in the state have control rooms with nodal officers and isolation beds are being prepared in the different government hospitals.

The Chief Minister also informed that several students, mostly studying medicine, who had come to the state from China, Italy, Japan, Germany, Singapore on January 30 last have been kept in quarantine and their condition was being monitored on a daily basis.

“All the students have completed their quarantine period but 17 of them are still under observation to assess if they have any kind of symptoms of the virus,” Sangma said.

Participating in the adjournment motion, the opposition legislators urged the government to take all measures to ensure that there is no outbreak of the disease in the state and also remain prepared to tackle any eventuality.

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