State revisits plan to contain virus

CM promises action against violators

SHILLONG: Perturbed over the unabated spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, the government has decided to revise its strategy by going hard against violation of protocols, heightened vigilance at the entry points and seeking public cooperation.
Apart from deciding to impose fine on reckless violation of norms, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday came out with firm words for initiating strong action against those who violated rules while attending a marriage ceremony at Greenwood Resort, Khanapara last week.
A disappointed Sangma said, “I assure the citizens of the state that we will take firm action against individuals who flaunt such kind of rules”.
He said that soon after the incident (wedding party fiasco), the government went for intensive contact tracing of the individuals who attended the marriage and most of them had tested negative.
Earlier, the chief minister admitted that in the last few days, the number of positive cases has been increasing significantly in the state. “Though the situation has become slightly more serious as compared what it was in the past. I would urge the citizens should not panic. It is a serious situation but we need not to panic,” he said.
The chief minister reiterated that though the number of cases has been going up, these cases are in categories and the first category is the BSF personnel which means that whatever is happening is happening within BSF personnel and their institutions.
“It is under control in the sense we are monitoring most of the things and we even had couple of meeting with the BSF,” he said
The Chief Secretary is again scheduled to have a meeting with the IG of BSF soon.
According to Sangma, the second category of people are those who have returned to the state and were following all the protocols.
He said that since Guwahati has become a red zone where cases are increasing, there will be some impact of it in the neighbouring areas right across the border especially Khanapara.
With the lockdown reimposed in Guwahati, the government is optimistic that the virus would be contained in Guwahati and nearby areas.
Emphasising that the fight against COVID was not of the government alone, Sangma said, “Every individual in the state is equally responsible in the fight against this pandemic. It is very important that everybody acts responsibly. The citizens should focus on behavioural change and ensure that the citizens of the state must act responsibly and follow the government protocols”.
Fine for COVID-19 violations
Flaunting COVID-19 protocols would now cost the people dearly as the state government has decided to impose fine as a deterrence.
Informing this Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma said here on Thursday that under the system, individuals who are not following the rules and protocols in public spaces would be fined Rs 500 for the first offence. The penalty will increase to Rs 1000 for repeating the offence.
An official notification in this regard would be issued soon empowering various departments to detect such violations.
According to Chief Minister, the notification will cater to specific norms including social distancing, wearing of mask and spitting.
“We have found in many locations that people are not following social distance norms and people are not wearing mask,” he said.

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