SHILLONG, April 13: The Health department will submit its recommendations to the state government on the steps which need to be taken in view of the spike in Covid cases in the state.
“The Health department’s recommendations will be deliberated at a review meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday,” Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek told reporters on Tuesday evening after reviewing the situation with senior officials of the department.
According to him, the decision on schools vis-à-vis the pandemic and the implementation of the protocols do not lie with the Health department.
“All major decisions will be taken during the review meeting,” Hek said.
He ruled out the possibility of another lockdown but indicated that there will be re-enforcement of some restrictions. He said while there will not be any restrictions on the entry of people from outside, they will have to mandatorily undergo the RT-PCR test before entering the state.
He said the government will have to manage financial resources to deal with the situation.
“I am not saying we have funds at our disposal but we will have to get the required funds at any cost since it is the bounded duty of a government to protect the lives of its people,” Hek said.
He said the government is exploring the option of expanding the facilities of institutional quarantine through the requisition of hotels and guest houses. He said the state is prepared to deal with possible second wave of the pandemic. “We have put in place all necessary facilities at health centres to treat Covid patients,” he added.
Meanwhile, amidst a continuous rise in Covid cases, Chief Secretary M.S. Rao issued an order today restricting the maximum number of persons allowed in places of worship and religious, social and private gatherings to 50% of the seating capacity of the venue.
The order also restricts the gathering for outdoor sports and spectators to 50% of the permitted capacity. Besides, cinema halls have been asked to permit 50% seating capacity.
All shops, establishments, restaurants and bars have been directed to shut down by 9 pm or as per timing issued by the authorities, whichever is earlier.
The order stressed that SOPs were not being followed strictly by citizens and advised the public to exercise caution and adhere to all protocols.
The order also asked all DCs and SPs to intensify the enforcement measures for strict compliance of the protocols and impose fines on violators and send a daily report on the fines collected to the Home department.
CLIMB TO 270
With 87 new cases reported on Tuesday, the number of active Covid cases in Meghalaya has climbed to 270, of which 215 cases are in East Khasi Hills alone.
4 cases were detected in Ri Bhoi, 3 in West Jaintia Hills and 1 in West Khasi Hills.
10 recoveries on the day took the total number of recoveries to 13,966. 151 lives have been lost so far.