Meghalaya to lockdown beyond May 3

Correspondent Shillong, Apr 27 | Publish Date: 4/27/2020 12:06:24 PM IST

Meghalaya will continue with the lockdown beyond May 3 to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the State with restrictions on inter-state and inter-district movement, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Monday.

“We have mooted to continue with the lockdown post May 3 with relaxation on activities in Green Zones or non-COVID-19 affected districts,” he said after a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He however said essential services and travel due to medical emergency will be allowed.

Meghalaya has so far recorded 12 COVID-19 positive cases of which 11 are active and one died due to the infection in East Khasi Hills District. The government has declared the district a “red zone” or COVID-19 hotspot. Curfew in Shillong agglomeration and adjoining areas will continue upto 6 am, May 4, even as shops selling essential commodities and providing ‘common services’ would be kept open for four days a week from Monday.

During a virtual interaction with Prime Minister, the Chief Minister proposed him to follow the Meghalaya model of “Rapid Response System”, wherein within specified time frame response is initiated by health, administration and police on detection of new Covid-19 cases.

 “The rapid response system will enable the government to work at micro level, like the panchayat institutions and prepare us for any such situation that may arise in future,” he told Modi in presence of his counterparts from other states. Those present at the virtual meet, included Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and top officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

Sangma suggested that response of different stakeholders should be specified in the form of standard operating procedures (SoPs), who can respond immediately within 60 minutes, the Chief Minister also proposed an “Economic Task Force” be set up by all the States for exchange of ideas and possible solutions to initiate economic activities by adhering to necessary precautionary protocols. 

“There is an economic State to State dependence. The establishment of economic task force will help States and its adjoining neighbours to a large extent in devising practical measures to revive the economic,” Sangma added. 

On the prevailing situation, the Chief Minister informed the Prime Minister that the use of technology has become more important and we should prepare ourselves for the change by integrating technology in governance, healthcare and business.  

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