Shillong, June 4: The state government has decided to extend the total lockdown in the entire state from June 7 to 14, after the positivity rate of Covid-19, continues to be a ‘matter of concern’.
However, economic activities in the different districts will be allowed on a need basis and depending on the situation.
Announcing this after a cabinet meeting here today, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “Though it has been very difficult for the people of the state, especially for Shillong and East Khasi Hills, the cabinet has decided that lockdown will continue for at least one week more (till June 14).”
“This time the order is not only just for East Khasi Hills. We have decided that this order will be in general for the entire state (as) we have seen that the spread of the virus is now shifting towards the rural districts,” he added.
Stating that a large number of cases have been reported especially in West Jaintia Hills, East Jaintia Hills, West Garo Hills and some parts of South West Garo Hills, Sangma said, “This may be the appropriate time to take actions to restrict the spread of the virus.”
He stated that the government is aware that lots of people will face difficulties and challenges but the health aspect is far more important to everyone.
Sangma also said though the Covid-19 numbers are coming down, the positivity rate still remains in double digits, which is a matter of concern.
“Our positivity ratio has seen a marginal decline in the past few weeks as we have seen the number of cases go down – the positivity ratio is down from 16.4 per cent to 12 per cent as of now,” he said.
The Chief Minister also informed that out of 6,110 active cases in the state, 2,119 are between the age of 15 and 29 and 1,781 are between the age of 30 and 44, which means approximately 4,000 cases that is 70 per cent of the cases are between the age of 15 and 45.
There are approximately 628 people admitted in hospitals of which 102 are in the D category, which means they are in the ICU or under high oxygen flow, 227 category-C, 115 category-A and 184 category-B.
East Khasi Hills, including the state capital, is the worst affected district with 2,610 active cases as of today.
A lockdown was first imposed in the East Khasi Hills district on May 5, which was later extended many times.
Asserting that it was a very tough decision taken by the government, Sangma however expressed confidence that the situation will improve after the lockdown period is over.
“It is early to say but it looks like if we can control things in the next one week, if we all work together, if we all are committed and we all simply bear this next one week, I am sure that in the coming week after that, we should be able to see things improving drastically,” he said.
Further, the Chief Minister urged the citizens to cooperate and said that the unlocking the process can only start if the state can ensure that “we are below the danger mark”.
“Therefore I urge all the citizens to please bear, cooperate and follow the protocols as this is the best way to keep our people, our friends, our loved ones safe and ensure we are able to come back to normalcy soon,” he said.
On the other hand, the Chief Minister informed that the government has also decided to allow the Deputy Commissioners to open up economic activities on a need basis.
“The Deputy Commissioners are given the liberty to allow those need-based activities, which does not involve gatherings, to open up in the coming week apart from those already opening up in this current week,” he said.
Sangma also added that the deputy commissioners are asked to take the recommendations from the SDOs and BDOs for allowing rural activities depending on the prevalence rate.
“It is a model where we continue with the lockdown and at the same time allow economic activities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government has also decided to allow churches and other places of worship to ring the bells and activities which do not involve people’s gathering. This was taken based on a special request made by certain church leaders, Sangma informed.
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