Shillong: Despite containment measures taken by the Meghalaya government to curb the spread second wave of COVID-19, the total number of active cases in the state has breached the 2,000-mark, forcing the government to opt for total lockdown in the East Khasi Hills district.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that Shillong has a positivity rate of 17% and East Khasi Hills is at 12%, forcing the government to take stricter measures.

“The bed occupancy in Shillong has reached 60% already. We are looking at a serious situation and therefore a number of other steps will be taken to contain the situation,” Sangma said.

According to the government, the existing restrictions did bring down the movement of people and slowed the transmission rate.

“We have decided that there will be a total lockdown in East Khasi Hills district from 8 pm on Wednesday till 5 am on May 10,” Sangma said.

The Meghalaya government had earlier put in restrictions and imposed containment measures from May 1 to May 10. The government has also decided there will be a weekend lockdown in other districts of Meghalaya.

The exams scheduled for May 6-7 have also been postponed to May 11-12, and a notification regarding the same will be issued by the end of Wednesday.

While inter state vehicular movement is restricted, inter district vehicular movement to and from East Khasi Hills district will also be restricted.

All major markets in East Khasi Hills will be closed but essential goods will be available through shops in localities. Home delivery will be permitted, movement of agriculture products will continue.

The CM said weddings will be restricted to family members and numbers will not exceed 50 people. Funerals can be attended by 20 people with prior permission from concerned officials.

“During this five-day lockdown, health services will be exempted, including vaccination programme,” said Sangma.

All cabinet ministers have been asked to visit the District in the state to assess the situation and report back. The government will review the situation on Saturday at 12 noon and decide the next steps.

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