SHILLONG: Despite a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, the Meghalaya government has ruled out the possibility of a lockdown in the state even as health authorities have imposed strict restrictions to curb the spread of the dreaded virus.
“So far the government has not thought of a complete lockdown. But, stringent restrictions have been imposed to curb the spread of diseases,” deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said yesterday.
Meghalaya recorded 100 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day spike in the state in the current wave of the infection, taking the number of active cases up to 363. The hill state has recorded a total of 14,485 positive cases so far, out of which 151 have died.
Law enforcing authorities have beefed up enforcement of the protocols laid down by the health authorities in order to arrest the spread of coronavirus.
Apart from shutting down all shops, establishments and restaurants by 9 pm, night curfew has been imposed between 10 pm and 5 am in East Khasi Hills district, including state capital Shillong.
The state government has also increased penalty from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 for not wearing face masks in public places.
Chief minister Conrad Sangma yesterday reviewed the situation and directed the health department to intensify the vaccination process to prevent further spread of the virus.
“The government has ordered the authorities concerned to intensify the inoculation process of the above-45 people and also to increase the number of vaccination centres in the state. The vaccinations will be free of cost at government centres, while private hospitals will be able to charge Rs 250 per dose,” Tynsong said after the meeting.
He further said community COVID care centres would be revived at grassroots level to prevent further spread of the infection.