SHILLONG: The Meghalaya government on Monday decided to close down all shops bordering Guwahati from June 30 in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases there.
"From tomorrow onwards, from Byrnihat to Rani along the border with Assam will be closed down till July 15. Instructions has been given to Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District to further regulate the restrictions," Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said during his daily briefing here on Monday. Tynsong further said that this has been done to ensure that residents from Assam do not cross over to the Meghalaya side to buy various items including the essential ones. The Deputy Chief Minister also informed that during a review meeting held on Monday, to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the State, it was decided that transfers of security forces, bank officials and Central government employees should be put on hold for the time being.
It may be mentioned that three security personnel — two of the Border Security Force (BSF) and one of the Assam Regiment who came into the State recently, tested COVID-19 positive.
"Some were on leave and came back into the State; and when tested here they were detected with the virus," Tynsong pointed out.
He however, allayed fears that these personnel may have spread the virus as these personnel were transported by vehicles of the respective security forces where they serve. After they entered Meghalaya, they are tested and kept under quarantine he added.
Meanwhile, State Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek informed that till Monday afternoon, 19,287 samples have been sent for testing; and out of these, while 18,657 samples tested negative, reports are awaited for 580 samples.
As of date, the State has seven active cases; of which four are in East Khasi Hills, two in South West Garo Hills and one in Ri Bhoi. The State has so far recorded 50 COVID-19 cases; out of which, 42 has recovered and one died of the virus.
A total of 18,823 residents returned to the State from all over the country. Moreover, Tynsong also informed that the transportation of returnees into the State will continue on payment basis up to July 15.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said that inter-State movement is still not allowed till July 15.
"Depending on the situation, if needed we may extend the restriction," Tynsong said.