TURA, April 20: In view of the rise in cases of COVID-19 in the State and the country, the meeting of the District Task Force for COVID-19, South West Garo Hills was convened at Ampati on Tuesday to discuss measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the district. The meeting, convened by the Deputy Commissioner Ramakrishna Chitturi was attended by all the members of the Task Force, including the Superintendent of Police, Siddharth Ambedkar, BDOs, Health officials, religious heads, NGOs and bazaar committees, among others.
Initiating the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner said that although as of now there are no COVID cases in the district it was only a matter of time and hence it is no time to be complacent for all concerned as the new wave of COVID is much more serious than the last one. As such, he called for community level monitoring of all people coming from outside the state, reduce attendance of all community gatherings and to activate the Community COVID Management Teams (CCMTs) and centres in all the villages of the district. He also urged all community leaders like nokmas and gaonburas, VECs and gram sevaks to spread awareness about the seriousness of the issue and to strictly follow COVID appropriate protocols like wearing of masks, social distancing and washing of hands, adding that COVID protocols can only be effectively enforced with the cooperation and monitoring at the community level.
District Police Chief Siddharth Ambedkar urged the community leaders to report immediately whenever cases of COVID are found but appealed against stigmatizing the family. Apprising about the alarming COVID scenario outside the state, he said community should take enforcement of COVID protocols in their own hands and make people understand that buying and wearing masks is much cheaper than paying a fine of Rs. 1000 for violating COVID rules.
Meanwhile, the District Immunization Officer, Dr. Noreen A Sangma informed the meeting that the new wave of COVID is 80 percent more highly infectious than the previous one and appealed to all citizens of the district above 45 years of age to come forward and get themselves vaccinated free of cost at all government hospitals, PHCs and sub-centres.