Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Secretary M S Rao on Friday said the lockdown in the state has been extended till further orders as the number of COVID-19 cases is still very high.

Earlier the lockdown in Meghalaya was supposed to end on June 21 but it will continue till further orders, he said.

“It is observed that the number of COVID-19 cases is still very high and there is a significant spread in rural areas of the state,” Rao said.

“In order to safeguard the state from an uncontrollable surge in COVID-19 cases, the containment measures issued will continue to be enforced in the state w.e.f. June 21 until further orders,” he said in an order.

At a high-level review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, health department officials briefed the meeting on the present status of COVID-19 cases.

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Meghalaya health minister A L Hek later informed that deputy commissioners of each of the 11 districts have been empowered to take decisions with regard to imposing/extending lockdown in their respective districts.

“The deputy commissioners are empowered to take necessary action and issue directives as per requirements in their districts to prevent spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Meghalaya now has 4,819 active COVID-19 cases and 771 COVID-19 related deaths while 38,792 infected persons have recovered, Health Services director Aman War said.

East Khasi Hills which includes the state capital Shillong has recorded 24,931 COVID-19 cases and 589 deaths so far, he said.

The district now has 1,674 active COVID-19 cases, War said.

East Khasi Hills district which has been under lockdown since the state government announced lockdown from May 5 has relaxed its containment measures and now the non- essential shops are allowed to open three times a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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