SHILLONG: A high-level review meeting was held with the participation of the Government and Opposition leaders to discuss the prevailing COVID-19 situation and take stock of the preparedness.
A detailed presentation was made by the Chief Secretary on the current COVID status in the State. The presentation highlighted the summary of COVID cases as on July 15, 2020 and focused particularly on the COVID-management strategy.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma admitted that there is a slight surge in the number of COVID cases across the State, adding that the maximum spike has been reported from the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel. "The rise in the last one week is from the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) and not from the civilians," stated the Chief Minister during an interaction with newsmen on Thursday, even as he again exhorted the public to co-operate with the government in its efforts to combat the disease. He stressed on the need for the masses to adopt sincere behavioral etiquettes.
Updates were also given on the State's approach towards tackling the cases of BSF and other armed forces. The following actions of the Government were highlighted in the presentation made by the Government. As on July 15, there are 297 active cases of which 222 (75%) were from the BSF and the armed forces.
The number of cases were under control till June 30 when the active cases stood at eight. The spurt from July can be largely attributed to the rise in cases related to BSF, cases in NEIGRIHMS and the Greenwood wedding party. Results of all the 601 random RT-PCR samples tested across the State are negative. The details of other clusters were elaborated. A total of 259 tests were conducted for the contacts relating to the wedding cluster, 60 for the NEIGRIHMS and 110 for the Khanapara cluster.
The State now has 3,847 beds available for COVID-19 patients. Adequate stock of health equipment is now available across the State – PPEs (2,56,379), three-ply masks (6,80,000), N95 masks (2,41,086), and ventilators (20) among others. A district-wise breakup was also given. The Government highlighted how the decentralized management system involving community capacity building helped the Government in controlling the situation. Support and cooperation of the community has been a key contributing factor in the low infection rate besides a constant and clear communication with the localities' headmen, the government said.
The joint meeting was also apprised of regular activities in sensitizing, creating awareness and providing key support to villages — especially the elderly and individuals with comorbidities.
What is a notable development has been the constitution of 'Community COVID Management Committees' (CCMC) and 'Behavioural Change Management Committees' (BCMC) for inculcating behavioural change for living with COVID-19 Government has made arrangements for support and follow-up for individuals and families under quarantine.
A total of 26,028 free provision kits were distributed till date for all individuals under mandatory home quarantine. Altogether Rs 63.6 lakh has been released as expenditure to the 'Community Quarantine Centres' at the rate of Rs 5000 per centre. Instructions to increase this incentive to Rs 10,000 from the existing Rs 5,000 has been made by the Government on July 15, 2020. The State's approach towards tackling the cases of BSF and other armed forces was presented in detail. Altogether 1,567 tests were conducted in the BSF cluster of which 223 cases were found to be positive.
The key decisions based on the meetings held with the Armed Forces was informed: