Shillong: Despite the omicron scare and third wave of COVID-19 already hitting parts of India hard, the Meghalaya government has decided to go ahead with grand celebrations for the state’s golden jubilee year on January 21, when Meghalaya turns 50.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said the golden jubilee celebrations will go on even as the government has directed the Chief Secretary and Deputy Commissioners to come up with detailed programmes related to the celebrations by next week.

“By next week, we will have a review again,” he said, adding that the Government will reduce the number of attendees as far as possible.

Making it clear that the Golden jubilee celebrations cannot be stopped, he added that they would take a call once the Chief Secretary and Deputy Commissioners submit their detailed programmes.

It may be mentioned that the Meghalaya Government has also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the Golden jubilee celebrations, but till date, there has been no confirmation from the PMO on the visit.

The Meghalaya government has also planned a series of programmes to mark the 50 years of the state, but with a surge in COVID cases, the government is keeping its fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, Tynsong said the government will strengthen testing of people, especially those who are symptomatic even as he asked people to come forward and get tested.

Stating that the asymptomatic patients who have tested positive need to isolate themselves in their home for 7 days, Tynsong said asymptomatic patients are required to isolate themselves in their home for 5 days.

Asserting that the Government would keep requesting citizens to go for vaccination, Tynsong said that severity and hospitalization in this wave is less as many people have already vaccinated themselves.

Booster doses to be administered from Monday.

The Meghalaya government will start administering the booster doses from Monday onwards to senior citizens, health workers and front line workers in the first phase.

“The doses will be given in the first phase to all the people with comorbidities and above 60 years and also all the health are workers frontline workers,” informed Principal Secretary Health, Sampath Kumar on Friday.

He said that this is a top most priority of the department as most of the elderly people are vulnerable and they want to give the booster doses to them first.

Informing that the availability of vaccine is adequate enough, he said, “We should really take vaccine we should really go for booster dose and all the young people who are eligible should go for the vaccine.”

The ‘precaution dose’ (booster) for Covid-19 — which will be administered from January 10 across the country to health and frontline workers and those above 60 with co-morbidities. As per reports those who Covaxin will get Covaxin and those who got Covishield will get Covishield.

Stating that the 15 to 18 age group is an important group with not much of vaccine hesitancy, Kumar said, “We are working on it and in next two to three weeks we wanted to complete the vaccination of all this sections.”

He said that they are coordinating with the education department and making sure that schools are open for vaccination on a particular given day.

“Vaccination can be done even within the schools and college campuses itself so that way it will be easier for the students at the same time it we can cover a large number of people at one place so that’s another step that we are taking,” he added.

The overall strategy is that, one we are improving the vaccination as it provides the first line of defense, second is to ensure that there are proper containment especially those coming from outside to make sure there is no large scale spread and also ensuring Covid appropriate behavior is followed.

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