Meghalaya to seal all entry points

Correspondent Shillong, Aug 31 | Publish Date: 8/31/2020 1:02:39 PM IST

All entry points to Meghalaya will be closed from Monday midnight for one week every month in the next three months beginning September. The announcement was made despite the Union Home Ministry Affairs directive not to restrict inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods during the ongoing unlocking process.

However, the Meghalaya government on Monday clarified that the closure of entry points to the State was “not defying” the Union Home Ministry’s directive but only putting in reasonable restrictions in view of the spurt of COVID-19 cases in the State.

Deputy chief minister, Prestone Tynsong said the State government has placed restrictions on inter-state movement for the past few months fearing an unrestricted movement of people from across the State would spike up cases.

“It is not a total closure but we are only regulating it because there is a spike in COVID-19 cases. We are not against MHA’s directive but the state government is responsible to ensure its citizens are safe and to control the spread of the virus,” he explained.

“Therefore, this regulation from the state government will continue but it does not mean that we restrict. There is no total closure, relaxation is there,” added the deputy chief minister.

He said the decision to close down entry points was taken to ease the frontline workers workload and also to sanitize the places. 

“You have seen there are many health workers who have contracted the virus at the entry points. Therefore, we also need to disinfect the entry points,” Tynsong said

The entry points are Byrnihat in Ri-Bhoi district, Ratacherra in East Jaintia Hills district, Bajengdoba in North Garo Hills district, Mirjumla in South West Garo Hills district, Tikrikilla and Hallidayganj in West Garo Hills districts.

Highest one-day recovery

Meghalaya on Monday recorded the highest ever  single-day recoveries of 113  COVID-19 patients, adding up the total number of recoveries up to 1196, while only 26 new cases were detected, health officials said.

Out of the 113 recoveries, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek informed 80 were reported from East Khasi Hills, 26 from West Garo Hills, three from East Jaintia Hills, besides two each from Ri-Bhoi district and North Garo Hills.

Of the 26 new cases detected, Hek said 14 were reported from East Khasi Hills district, five cases (four Armed/Paramilitary Forces and one civilian) were reported from West Garo Hills, four each from East Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills districts besides one each from Ri-Bhoi and South West Garo Hills districts.

Meghalaya has so far registered 2368 COVID-19 positive cases, including 1196 active cases, 1162 recoveries and ten deaths.

“Till date, 88,963 samples have been sent for testing out of which 85,924 were negative and results of 671 tests are awaited. So far 32,573 people have returned to the state from outside,” he further informed.

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