COVID-19 cases plateauing in Meghalaya: CM Conrad Sangma in PM's review meeting

Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said that COVID-19 cases are plateauing in the state.

Sangma was attending a COVID-19 review meeting initiated by PM Narendra Modi with the chief ministers of Northeastern states via video conferencing.

“We are seeing that cases are plateauing now. We are seeing a steady decline but the decline has not been at the rate that we anticipated. Maybe that is because of the fact that we have a lot of scattered population,” said Sangma.

The chief minister further explained how in the dense areas they have seen the number of COVID-19 cases come up immediately and then go down; however, in rural areas, the spread is more and taking time to come down completely.

Sangma, however, said that in the next few weeks, things should look better than what they are today.

“The positivity rate has come down below 10 per cent, except for two districts that are seeing positivity rate of over 10 per cent,” he informed the meeting.

Sangma said that he informed the Centre how the COVID-19 wave hit the Northeast after the rest of the country even in the first wave of the pandemic last year.

Looking at the current wave, it gave the government enough time to prepare in terms of infrastructure and oxygen supply, he added.

Sangma, however, said that COVID-19 vaccination remains a big concern and the state is still registering below the national average in certain aspects. So the government is pushing things in mission mode, he added.

The state government has sought the help and support of all the MLAs, MDCs, religious leaders, village headmen and other civil society organisations to enhance the vaccination drive, Sangma said.

As such, there has been some positive results with the COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the last few weeks, said Sangma, adding that he was hopeful the numbers will go up.

“If 20,000 to 25,000 people are vaccinated every day, the state could complete the vaccination of all the eligible population by the end of September or early October,” he told the meeting.

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“The Centre has been very generous in giving vaccines free of cost and also supplying us the oxygen plants for different districts. Approximately, 14 of them have been sanctioned by the Central government, and at the same time oxygen cylinders, concentrators and different health equipment have been provided by GOI,” said Sangma.

The video conference with the Prime Minister was attended by CMs of all the Northeastern states, apart from Union ministers for home, defence, health, DONER and other officials to analyse the COVID-19 situation in the region.

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