Is Meghalaya ready for COVID peak?

SHILLONG: As COVID cases in the state have been uncontrollably on the rise, and the projected peak is due in October-November, a natural question that the people are asking: Is Meghalaya prepared for it? Also, why the state is witnessing a sudden spurt in cases?
This reporter approached an official who is at the helm of affairs to figure out what is in store for the Meghalayans in the coming two months.
On conditions of anonymity the official explained that one of the reasons why cases have increased in Meghalaya was that, unlike Assam, the state had not been following the standard operating principle of re-testing all recovered patients.
“In Assam, people on completion of their quarantine of 14 days, are re-tested after seven days which we are not doing here,” the official said while emphasising that people need to be re-tested to ensure that they don’t get re-infected at home. Stating that Corona Care Centres in the state were now flooded with people, the official also added that many Rangbah Shnongs in the state were not willing to allow even asymptomatic patients to isolate themselves in their homes. “If we follow all protocols strictly, asymptomatic patients can be kept at home,” the official said.
Confirming that peak was due in October-November, the official stated that Government was working on developing behavioural change among the people so that people can take care of themselves and the asymptomatic persons can be taken care of at home.
The official also pointed out that it was high time for Government to strengthen its building bye-laws since in many buildings in the city, tenants were made to share common toilet. “ In some buildings, there are two toilets for 10 tenants and as per rule, the toilet should be used after a gap of half an hour following its disinfection. Usually that becomes a casualty,” the official said. The bottom line is to avoid use of common toilet by a large number of residents.
Another contingency plan was that the Government was mooting the idea of constructing a multi-purpose prefab structure in the city which would act as a COVID hospital and other common ailments would also be taken care of in the same facility.
The Government has been asked to give a land for the proposed prefab structure which can later be used for other purposes once the covid situation normalised. It was also said that the department preferred pressurized oxygen to ventilators as the former was found to be more effective. Therefore, government is likely to ask the oxygen producing companies to provide more cylinders to the state.

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