Meghalaya government issues stricter COVID guidelines

Meghalaya government on Wednesday announced containment of Shillong including Tura and Jowai for 10 days allowing only essential services to operate. The containment measures will come into effect starting from 5 am of May 1 to May 10.

The decision was taken after a review meeting chaired by chief minister Conrad K Sangma in a bid to contain the raging COVID-19 crisis in the state here on Wednesday.

Addressing media persons, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said, “The government has decided to put in place containment measures for Shillong urban agglomeration, Jowai town and Tura town as it was found that the spike of COVID-19 in these places is vulnerable.”

He said inter district or intra district movement to or from Shillong urban agglomeration, Jowai or Tura will be restricted.

“Any other travel due to emergency shall require permission from the respective deputy commissioners (DCs) concerned. However, it is advised unless necessary, movement of persons to Shillong, Jowai and Tura should not be undertaken,” Tynsong said.

Closure

All the public, political and religious gatherings are prohibited except weddings and funerals are permitted subjected to adherence to protocols regulated by the respective DCs.

Entry of tourists from outside the state shall not be permitted and all tourist spots will remain closed.

All educational institutions, private offices will remain shut except those providing essential services during the containment period.

Tynsong informed that since non-essential central government institutions will remain close, the employees of such organizations are encouraged to work from home.

All sporting activities are also prohibited.

While stating that the public transport is reduced to 1/4 of the existing seating capacity, he however said that public transport will be allowed only for those who are in need of health care and emergency services, vaccination against COVID-19 and students, teachers and staff involved in the conduct of the ongoing examinations in the state. Private vehicular movement will not be allowed.

The deputy chief minister also warned citizens of unnecessary movement and those found violating the movement norms will be penalised under the law.

Tynsong said essential shops will be allowed to open, however the days and timing will be fixed by the respective DCs. All construction activities are allowed including shops dealing in hardwares, electrical, mobile repair shops, automobile repair shops subjected to regulation by the DCs. Banks and banking post and telegraph are allowed to open. Essential government offices will be allowed as per regulation to be made by the personnel department.

“Movement is allowed based on issuance of passes for agriculture and veterinary activities, transportation of essential commodities, goods vehicles including e-commerce services, supply of medicines and home delivery services, accredited personnel from both print and electronic media, persons engaged in construction activities, domestic workers, fire and emergency services, civil defence and others,” he said.

Tynsong also informed that returnees are allowed to enter the state. “However, it is mandatory for them to follow strict protocols issued by the Health department,” he added. According to him, steps have also been taken to double the manpower at the entry point to further strengthen the checking mechanism.

The deputy chief minister said that although there is not so much surge in the number of cases in Ri Bhoi district, the state government has authorized the deputy commissioner to take a call as per situation.

International border trade suspended

The state government has ordered suspension of international border trade in view of the rapid surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

“The international border trade will be immediately suspended during this period. Deputy Commissioners are also authorized to restrict weekly markets and borders haats in their respective districts depending on local situation,” he said.

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