Meghalaya following stringent Covid-19 testing: CM Conrad Sangma

"Those stranded residents of the state who are entering Meghalaya have to go through three types of testing, thermal scanning, rapid test and RT-PCR test and only then they are allowed to go,” Sangma said

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, on the last day of the re-assembled session of the Meghalaya Assembly on Friday, said that the state is following the most stringent testing mechanism for Covid-19.

“Those stranded residents of the state who are entering Meghalaya have to go through three types of testing, thermal scanning, rapid test and RT-PCR test and only then they are allowed to go,” Sangma said while replying to a discussion on a motion over the initiative and preventive measures taken by the government relating to returnees from outside the State with reference to Covid-19.

On the issue raised by the opposition on home quarantining, the Chief Minister informed that so far around 8600 residents have reached the State and another 6000 to 7000 are yet to return. As such, he said that the government does not have the facility for institutional quarantine of all these returnees which will mean around 15000 beds with separate toilets.

Sangma said that now that the community is coming forward to set up quarantine centers the government is letting the localities or villages make their own decisions on this.

“It is not mandatory (institutional quarantine) but if the dorbar shnongs want to take this up, we allow it,” he said.

The Chief Minister also said that the government was giving Rs 5000 to active community quarantine centers from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund apart from the provision kits to those under quarantine.

Sangma also said that the government has records of the returnees since those wanting to come back to the State had to register first.

He then said that the government and its officers are continuously contacting the stranded citizens and that the exercise, planning and protocols to receive the residents is one of the best in the country.

He also said that the government wanted minimum movement of people but was flexible wherein it allowed certain activities when the situation permitted even as he added that from now on the government needs to balance health and the economy.

Earlier, taking part in the discussion on the motion, leader of opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma reiterated his apprehension on the issue of home quarantine.

Dr Sangma also said that people in the lower strata of society are the ones suffering from the lockdown and empathy should be shown towards them.

Commenting on the migrant workers all over the country having to walk to reach their homes, the leader of opposition said, “We can’t expect those who walked on the streets to be able to forget their misery.”

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Congress legislator from Nongpoh, Mayralborn Syiem said that parents of those children who were either studying or working and had returned home due to the pandemic are asking what their future will be.

Syiem also said that the sector most affected by Covid-19 is agriculture. He also said that with the pandemic there is a need to ramp up the health care system in the state.

First Published:May 23, 2020, 7:37 p.m.

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