Meghalaya to start model of “1 day open, 2 days closure” to fight COVID 19
Shillong | March 22, 2020:
The Meghalaya Government has decided to adopt a model of "one day open and two days closure" in order to maintain social distancing that can effectively be enforced within the whole population of the State starting from March 23.
The decision came in view of the public health situation arising from the spread of the coronavirus across the globe, including India with a view to prevent spreading of the virus in the state, the following measures are being put in place.
In an official statement issued here tonight, Meghalaya Chief Secretary, M.S. Rao informed that on this day shops/ stalls/ go-downs/ establishments who are dealing with essential items and services including Pharmacies, Grocery Shops, Vegetable & Fruit Vendors, Meat & Fish Vendors, shops selling Rice, Pulses, Wheat, Grams, Millets, Toiletries, Take Away Food Outlets, LPG Cylinders Outlets and deliveries, Petrol Pumps, Banks and ATMs will be open.
"However, Operation of all other commercial and business establishments is prohibited. Movement of all public transport including local taxis and auto rickshaws will be restricted. Only 25 % of such vehicles will be allowed to ply in the three districts of EKH, WGH and WJH. 2. For, the period 24 March, Operation of all commercial and business establishments, all forms of public transport and assembly or gathering of 5 (five) or more persons in all public areas, premises, commercial and residential localities beyond the individual households is being prohibited through orders of the Deputy Commissioners," Chief Secretary said.
He also said that security forces and medical teams on duty, pharmacies and all essential services including Health Services, MeECL, Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department, Public Works Department (PWD), Police and Armed Forces, Fire & Emergency Service, Food & Civil Supply Department, Shillong Municipal Board, Telecom, Telegraph & IT Services, Banks and ATMs are exempt for this full closure.
According to him, all essential Government offices will function with a capacity of 50 %. All non-essential offices will be closed till 31 March. "However, all Government servants are required to be available 24*7 on the telephone/ mobile to attend to any kind of emergencies," Rao stated.
He further said that the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 has been invoked in the State under which it is mandatory for all travellers who have travel history of coming from COVID-19 affected countries and Indian States to register and notify their travel history with the Government.
Rao said that the entry into the State for local residents and supply of essential commodities will be allowed, henceforth, only from the following nine locations Rattacherra (East Jaintia Hills, Siatsama and Umransu (West Jaintia Hills), Byrnihat (Ri-Bhoi), Dainadubi and Bajengdoba (North Garo Hills), Phulbari and Trikrikilla (West Garo Hills) and Garobada (South West Garo Hills).
"The entry for people from Dawki, West Jaintia Hills and Dalu, West Garo Hills has been stopped. Entry of tourist into the State has also been stopped," Chief Secretary said.
He said that all people coming into Meghalaya are required to mandatorily register on the COVID-19 monitoring system (meghalayaonline.gov.in/covid), in addition to undergo health screening adding that in case of any technical challenges, registration can also be done on paper at the point of entry.
"About 650 people have already been registered on the portal in the last two days and also 380 people have registered with the health department 108 helpline. We have not put in place a system for automatic calling of all those registered people over the next 14 days. Any person reporting any of the coronavirus related symptoms will be personally followed up by the respective District Surveillance teams.
Chief Secretary informed that private hospitals in the State have been roped in for setting of dedicated isolation room for suspected COVID-19 patients. "The private hospitals have also been requested to come up with proposal to set up testing facilities as the ICMR has issued guidelines yesterday allowing private hospital to set up testing facilities. The State has currently one testing centre at NEIGRHIMS," Rao said.
He also informed that advisory has been issued to the hospitals and media not to reveal the names of the suspected cases and patients. "All the DCs has been asked to constitute a Citizenship Support Committee for enforcing Social distancing in general and home quarantine for those have recent travel history," Chief Secretary added.