Shillong: Meghalaya government Monday decided to regulate the entry of people from outside into the state while also imposing certain other restrictions from January 5 to prevent an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19.
After chairing the review meeting on the COVID-19 scenario, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “Keeping in mind the economic activities of the people and with a mind of ensuring that we impact the economic activities to the bare minimum, the government has decided to come up with some restrictions in the next few days in the state of Meghalaya.”
“(Regarding) entry into Meghalaya apart from the double vaccination you will be requiring a 72 hours certificate of COVID test and if not you will be tested at the entry points,” he said.
He also said that this is being done to ensure that absolute care is taken while the people are entering the state to ensure they are fully vaccinated and that they should be tested in 72 hours or they will be tested at the entry point.
Sangma informed that gatherings will not be allowed, movement of vehicles will be restricted and night curfews will also be imposed in the state.
“All these restrictions will start from January 5,” he said while adding that there will be a few more restrictions that will be issued by the state government
He however said that only certain gatherings for certain purposes with restricted numbers will be allowed because gatherings is one of the main areas where the spread takes place.
“We feel that while we don’t have a single case, maybe this is the right time to put some restrictions without affecting public economically. Therefore, the gatherings will be restricted,” he said.
“We will see some form of restrictions on private vehicles coming up. It will be different in different regions or different districts but in Shillong city and most of East Khasi Hills, we will have an odd-even system coming up,” he also said adding, “We will be having curfews which will start at 10 pm at Shillong city and in other districts, the respective deputy commissioners will accordingly take the decision.”
The chief minister then said the decision has been taken in view of the fact that the Omicron variant is spreading very fast throughout the country.
He said that there are hardly seven or eight states which have not reported any case yet and Meghalaya is one of them and the North East as a whole, only one state has reported one or two cases but the speed at which it is travelling and transmitting is very alarming.
Stating that though most of the reports coming in from everywhere are showing that the hospitalization rate and death rate is far lesser compared to the Delta variant, he said but the positivity and the overall transmissibility is very high.
“It is a matter of time (for the government to be prepared) before the Omicron variant will hit Meghalaya state also, which is inevitable,” he asserted.
The chief minister also assured that the state is far better prepared compared to what it was before the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Though the Delta variant or the second wave have given us a lot of push and a lot of infrastructures and arrangements and different investments were made, we as a government still feels that it is very important for citizens and the government to take precautions and though this last one year has been very difficult for all of us, we still need to be very careful in the coming days.”