‘Time not ripe to welcome tourists’

SHILLONG, July 5: The high Covid positivity rate has prevented the Meghalaya government from reopening tourism-related activities in the state for now.
Chief Secretary, MS Rao on Monday said it would not be wise to welcome tourists at this point in time. “Our positivity rate is still around 10% which is quite high. We have to bring it down to less than 5%,” he said.
After nearly 10 months, the government had reopened the state for tourism-related activities on December 21 last year when the Covid situation in the first wave ebbed. Just when tourism was picking up, the state found itself in the grip of the pandemic again. The resultant restrictions on the entry of tourists hit the sector again very badly.
The Chief Secretary admitted that Covid-19 has taken a toll on the state’s economy but could not quantify the losses.
“Perhaps after a month, we will be able to tell you how much the state has suffered. The losses are definitely huge,” Rao added.
He said pressure from the central government had made the state decide on allowing the government offices to function by ensuring proper standard operating procedures.

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