M’laya CM calls for ‘micro lockdowns’

Correspondent Shillong, Jul 16 | Publish Date: 7/16/2020 1:18:57 PM IST

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday called for management of the COVID-19 situation at a micro level through ‘micro lockdowns’ instead of going for total lock-down of the state or in Shillong.

Meghalaya has so far registered 377 COVID-19 cases that include 326 active cases, two deaths and 49 recovered from the viral infection. “It is very important to understand that COVID19 is here to stay for some time and we cannot expect that we will continue to run away from it or block or lockdown every time something happens. We need to adjust, adapt and learn how to live with this virus,” he told reporters after a high-level meeting convened by Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh.

The meeting was also attended by ministers, opposition members and senior government officials.

“The government is continuously working on how we could micro-manage different situations. When a case comes up or suddenly a cluster comes up, should the whole state or whole city be locked down? Should all economic activities be stopped? Most probably not,” the Chief Minister observed.

“We need to find out how we could have micro lock-down strategies, individual lock-downs. How an individual’s actions and behaviours could make a vast difference. So we have started the step by involving now the Rangbah Shnongs, headmen and Nokmas by sharing not just information on the positive patients, but also information about the high risk contacts,” Sangma said.

The Chief Minister also emphasized on the cooperation of the society at large in the micro-management of ‘micro lockdowns’ at different levels by containing the infection and also called upon people not to stigmatize those who have been exposed to the virus and have been infected and added that the elected representatives could play important role in sensitizing the society in this aspect.

Earlier, at the high-level review meeting, Chief Secretary M.S. Rao said the spurt of COVID-19 cases from July can be largely attributed to the rise in cases related to BSF, cases in NEIGRIHMS and the Greenwood wedding party. “As of July 15, there are 297 active cases of which 222 (75%) were that of BSF and Armed forces. The number of cases was under control till June 30 when the active cases stood at 8,” he informed. The Chief Secretary also informed that the BSF and armed force personnel schedule to return to the State after their leave have been asked to stay back, but those in transit are to follow State protocol.

In order to handle the cases in the BSF and armed forces, Rao said 1,567 tests were conducted in the BSF cluster of which 223 have turned out to be positive.

“The BSF’s Umpling campus has been declared a containment zone and supply of essential commodities to the campus is being coordinated by the district administration,” he informed.

Apart from this, 601 random RT-PCR samples were tested across the State and the results were negative. Out of this 259 tests were conducted for contact tracing relating to the wedding cluster, 60 were for the NEIGRIHMS and 110 for the Khanapara cluster.

On the total test conducted across the State till July 15, Rao said 24,900 tests were conducted. Testing infrastructure is now available in 9 out of the 11 districts of the State which can test more than 1000 samples per day.

Speaker Lyngdoh and opposition legislator HM Shangpliang of the Congress expressed satisfaction over the government’s actions, even as the latter called for strict stoppage of inter-state movement of people. 

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