KHNAM questions govt approach against virus spread

GUWAHATI: Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) has questioned the approach of the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“The current situation in Meghalaya has put things on the back foot. A different approach by the government might have prevented the surge in COVID-19 positive cases. Moreover, we don’t know whether the guidelines to conceal the identities of the positive cases would be helpful or harmful to the isolation protocol of the government,” KHNAM youth wing president, Thomas Passah, told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.

Passah said it was obvious that if the identity of a COVID-19 positive was not made known, then people who might have come in contact with the infected person would remain in the dark rather than adhere to the self quarantine protocol.

“Trying to trace the contacts of a COVID positive person, whose identity is concealed, may not turn out to be effective, and even if it is, it will be time consuming. The Odisha government, for instance, has revealed the names of the COVID positive persons to prevent community spread of the virus. Likewise, the state government has to resort to some steps taking into consideration the welfare of the people at large,” he said.

“At this point of time, lockdown is inevitable. However, we all know that lockdown can adversely affect daily wage earners, farmers and middle class people among others,” the KHNAM leader said.

In view of the rising prices of essential commodities, the regional party demanded that the issue be addressed at the earliest because of the hardships faced by people. “The authorities have already issued a directive against any hike in price but this remained on paper only,” he alleged.

Passah, who is also the KHNAM central executive committee spokesperson, expressed surprise that the Keating Road area, which has the highest (civilian) positive cases, has still not been declared as a containment zone by the government.

 “Then again, it’s very easy for the state government to ask various localities not to stigmatise the employees of NEIGRHMS. However, the government is not doing anything to ensure that,” he alleged.

“The staff/nurses of the hospital have expressed discontentment in regard to the authorities asking them to go home after duty. Some say they have children at home and are therefore afraid to go home,” Passah said.

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