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Three-pronged strategy to fight COVID-19 pandemic : Meghalaya CM

Correspondent Shillong, May 21 | Publish Date: 5/21/2020 9:01:08 AM IST

The Meghalaya government has put in place a three-pronged strategy to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic with emphasis on strengthening health infrastructure and boosting the sagging economy, CM Conrad Sangma said on Thursday.

 “We are prioritising the improvement of health infrastructure, increasing the use of technology and building the capacity of communities to deal with the situation,” he said in reply to a zero-hour notice tabled by Opposition Congress legislator PT Sawkmie on the second day of the three-day re-assembled budget session of the state assembly today.  

Underscoring that strengthening of health infrastructure is the core first priority of our strategy, Sangma said a number of investments were made in the health sector over the last two months.  

“Post the outbreak of the global pandemic, an amount of Rs 57.98 crore has been sanctioned by the State government to the Health and Family Welfare Department. Of this, Rs 45.85 crore is from State’s resources and Rs 12.13 crore is Central resources. This investment has helped improve the health infrastructure significantly,” he informed.

Stating that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented economic and social disruption, the CM said the central government and the State government have taken a number of steps towards containing the spread of COVID-19 since mid-March.

“The lockdown imposed to contain COVID-19 has adversely affected the livelihood, food security and income of the various sections of the society including construction workers, both registered and unregistered, farmers, entrepreneurs, citizens of the State stranded outside the State and the rural and urban poor,” he pointed out. 

 “In addition to implementing  various relief measures of the Government of India under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, the State Government, through its own resources, has taken up several relief measures. An amount of Rs 3,000 was credited to the bank accounts of 24,516 numbers of registered building and construction workers. Further, an amount of Rs 2,100 is being credited to the bank accounts of 1,81,491 unregistered workers under the Chief Minister’s Relief Against Wage Loss Scheme and the Government is spending Rs 38.11 Crore on this measure,” he said.

 “To provide relief to stranded citizens, an amount of Rs 3,000 has been credited to the bank accounts of 9,224 individuals costing Rs 2.77 crore. Additionally provision kits providing 2-weeks rations and other essentials to individuals and households under quarantine have been supplied to about 10,000 households in the State costing approximately Rs 2 crore. An amount of Rs. 26.38 crore has been provided to the Food and Civil Supplies Department for procurement and supply of 58,639 quintals of food grains under the open market sale scheme,” he spelt out. 

 “Therefore, a total of Rs. 69.25 Crore is being spent from the State resources under various relief measures related to COVID-19. Combined with the Rs 45.85 crore spent on health expenditure, the total expenditure made by the State due to COVID-19 comes to Rs 115.10 Crore,”  Sangma said.

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