Meghalaya Speaker holds meet with Govt and Oppn on COVID-19 situation

Shillong, Apr 25: Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Leader of Opposition Dr Mukul Sangma and other Ministers and MLAs held a high-level meeting, on Saturday, to discuss the prevailing situation due to COVID-19. 

According to a joint statement by the Speaker, Chief Minister and the leader of opposition, a detailed presentation was made by the Chief Secretary detailing the steps taken by the Government relating to management of the COVID-19 situation, movement of essential commodities, distribution of food grains, relief measures and other steps being taken by the Government.

The meeting was also attended by Health Minister A L Hek, Education Minister L Rymbui, MLAs Charles Pyngrope, Zenith Sangma, Ampareen Lyngdoh, M Syiem, Chief Secretary M S Rao and other Senior Officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Finance department and other key departments.

It was informed that there has been a significant increase in testing capacity since the detection of the first COVID-19 positive case. “The capacity of RT-PCR testing is being increased from 90 to 370 by mid-May. 50,000 antibody RD kits will be available by first week of May,” the statement read. 

They said that Health Systems are being constantly strengthened, and added “Adequate stocks of health equipment are now available across the State- PPE (64,458), N95 masks (80,190), BiPAP Machines (60) and 3-ply masks (5,10,000).”

“Quarantine, Corona-Care and Isolation Centres have been set up across the State to meet any surge situation. Doctors and other Frontline medical staff including ambulance drivers and housekeeping staff are also being well taken care of,” the statement said 

Further it was informed that Surveillance and monitoring of all the registered 5200 individuals is being by the Government. 

“Food grain distribution (April quota) for the 21, 45, 145 NFSA beneficiaries and 7, 72, 694 non- NFSA beneficiaries has been completed. Distribution of May quota is under way and Distribution of Rs. 3000 one-time financial assistance for 10,287 Meghalaya Citizens stranded outside is underway,” it read. 

According to the statement, benefits are also being provided under various other schemes-PM KISAN (87, 187 farmers @ Rs. 2000), PM Jan Dhan Yojana (3,01,428 women account holders @ 1,500), Building and Construction Workers (17,649 workers @ Rs. 3000) and Assistance for unorganized Sector (2,02,281 workers @ Rs. 2,100 (applicants being verified)), Provision Kits for quarantined Households (5200 Households).

Several suggestions were made by the members of the opposition and the Government welcomed many of the suggestions.

The meeting decided to jointly urge the Citizens of the State to Provide sensitive support to all COVID-19 positive individuals and those probable cases and not to stigmatize any individual as the virus can affect any person, Not to be fearful of the virus and to follow the standard protocols relating to personal hygiene, hand washing, cough etiquette and social distancing. 

“As per existing data, most people affected by the virus will not need hospitalization and will recover by being under home isolation. The Government is fully prepared to deal with all cases that may need hospitalization. Be respectful and kind to all the health care staff and other frontline workers,” they urged.

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