Meghalaya imposes fresh restrictions to curb COVID surge

Correspondent SHILLONG, MAY 3 | Publish Date: 5/3/2021 1:15:28 PM IST

The Meghalaya government on Monday announced imposition of more restrictions in the State capital to curb the rising COVID-19 infection and deaths.

Six more COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the State on Monday taking the fatality count to 185 and 246 new cases of infection surged the number of active cases up to 1,884, even as 177 recoveries from the viral infection added up to 15, 606 recovered cases.

Meanwhile, night curfew will be extended in the Shillong Agglomeration area from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Tuesday, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma announced after chairing a meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation in the State as on Monday.

However, the government has ruled out the imposition of a total lockdown.

The meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek, Chief Secretary M.S.Rao and senior government officials from the Health department also decided that all shops would be closed from 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ïewduh, one of the busiest markets in the northeastern states, would open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except on Sundays when these shops would remain closed the whole day.

Eleven grocery and wholesale shops in Ïewduh would also open on a rotation basis from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. each day.

“The Incident Commander, Zone-IV and the Syiem of Hima Mylliem (traditional head) will regulate the opening of the above shops. Shopkeepers would be responsible for maintaining physical distance between the customers and follow other protocols,” Deputy Chief Minister Tynsong said. The market committee under the Syiem of Hima Mylliem is authorized to levy fines on shop owners or people who violate the protocols or spit in open and public places.

Tynsong also informed that office hours have been reduced from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in the State Capital Shillong.

On the other hand, the government has also decided that the cremation/burial of the deceased will be allowed till 2 p.m.daily for both COVID-19 and non-COVID cases. This will be applicable for the entire State.

“We request all concerned stakeholders to adhere to the measures taken by the government,” the deputy chief minister said, adding that coffins of COVID victims should not be opened. “Bodies of COVID victims are allowed to be taken to their homes, but can’t be taken inside the house, but should be kept in the courtyard, verandah or any place outside,” Tynsong said.

Moreover, a maximum of 30 persons are allowed at the funeral, but each has to maintain the protocols laid down. Handshakes, body contact should be avoided as far as possible.

Hand sanitizers are to be provided to the attendees and meals should not be served to guests. Family and relatives should ensure that attendees do not stay for long.

“We are monitoring the surge on a daily basis… lockdown is not an option, but request residents to take care, wear masks, avoid unnecessary movement and maintain all protocols,” Tynsong said.

He said the decision was taken after seeing the daily spike of COVID cases in the state. “We are left with no option but to implement more restrictions for the safety and security of the people of the state,” the Deputy Chief Minister said. Besides state capital Shillong, the towns of Jowai, Tura and Ri Bhoi have been declared ascontainment areas for ten days from May 1, following the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.


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