More COVID curbs in state as govt weighs lockdown
SHILLONG, April 21: As the cases of novel coronavirus are increasing exponentially, the state government has put in place more restrictions.
The government warned that it might clamp a complete lockdown if the situation does not improve.
“We are observing the situation. If it goes out of control, we will be compelled to impose a complete lockdown. So, people should help the government by helping themselves,” Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong said.
After reviewing the situation at a meeting on Wednesday, Tynsong said that from now on, RT-PCR test will be made mandatory for every returnee and entrant.
Following this move, no more rapid antigen test (RAT) will be conducted at the entry point and the government will not accept any RAT certificate issued by any other state.
“RT-PCR is a must for anyone entering the state except for those who have already taken both COVID jabs and have the certificates,” Tynsong said.
Cautioning that Meghalaya is headed towards a very grim situation, he advised people from other parts of the state as well as the residents of other states to avoid visiting Shillong now.
The state government has decided to close down all tourist spots in East Khasi Hills till April 30. Colleges and other institutions in Shillong agglomeration, except those operating as examination centres, will also be closed down till May 3. The government has asked the colleges to continue with their online classes.
Gyms, parlours, salons, cinema halls, swimming pools and bars will be closed from April 23-30. Further, the government decided to reduce attendance in government offices to 33%.
Tynsong said the shops in the city dealing in non-essential items will be closed from April 26 till May 2 and the deputy commissioner will issue a separate notification about such shops for closure during the period.
He said it was unfortunate that people now appeared to be not scared of the virus. He warned that the current wave is highly infectious.
Asked about the possibility of weekend lockdown, Tynsong said the government is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and it will decide accordingly.
STATE BREACHES 1000-MARK
With 192 cases reported on Wednesday, the state now has 1,021 active cases of COVID-19.
Three more deaths on Wednesday pushed the number of fatalities to 157.
The deceased included 83-year-old man, Nihar A. Adhikari of Forest Colony, Shillong, Harish Kumar Kushwaha (50) of Zig Zag Road, Rilbong and Jadabelbra Bhattacharjee (55) of Laban.
Out of the 192 new cases, 148 were detected in East Khasi Hills, 30 in Ri Bhoi, four each in East Jaintia Hills and West Garo Hills and three each in West Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills.
East Khasi Hills continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic with 746 active cases.
The state also recorded 25 recoveries on Wednesday.
r RT-PCR mandatory for entering state
r Tourist spots in EKH closed till April 30
r Colleges and other institutes shut till May 3 except examination centres
r Gyms, parlours, salons, cinema halls, swimming pools and bars to be closed from April 23-30
r Shops in Shillong dealing in non-essential items will be closed from April 26 till May 2
r Govt offices to function at 33% strength