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The case of the SBI official posted at Khliehriat who evaded testing at Byrnihat on the plea that he would be tested at the Shillong Civil Hospital is a lesson on how improved surveillance methods are the only way to prevent such lapses. Government may have taken all precautions to ensure that no one entering Meghalaya through Guwahati or other entry points can get away without being tested but there are always people who will try to slip through the protocols. The fact that the Dorbar Shnong was able to track down the bank official and get him to comply to the required quarantine protocols speaks volumes about the vigilance of grassroots institutions. It is imperative for the Dorbar Shnong to work in tandem with the Government. True the organogram for the flow of responsibility and accountability is tenuous at the moment but these can be worked out sooner than later. These hits and misses should not be allowed to hamper the current pace of collaboration which is the reason why community transmissions have been kept at bay.
However, Meghalaya has to now also work with different institutions and seek their collaboration. The State Bank of India being the largest public sector bank should ensure that its employees that are transferred from one state or district to another undergo the Covid protocols put in place by the state and central government. There can be no let up on vigilance. There are other central institutions too, apart from the armed forces, whose personnel are compelled by force of duty to move from one state to another on posting and transfers. They too need to have a foolproof protocol in place so that no one escapes the mandatory testing and quarantine. It is for this reason that those travelling from one state to another and requiring to be quarantined need to download the much maligned Aarogya Setu App on their mobile phones. There has been much hue and cry about the App violating privacy but Covid19 is a medical emergency that brooks no arguments. Those undertaking inter-state travel, more so those coming from Covid hotspots cannot be allowed to take things lightly merely because they are asymptomatic.
Close co-ordination between all public institutions but especially the Dorbar Shnong has been of much help in keeping the Covid numbers at a relatively safe index. The Dorbar Shnong and the youth and women’s organizations could perhaps play a more proactive role by also engaging with the different government institutions under their jurisdiction. The State Government alone cannot do everything to contain a pandemic that knows no boundaries.