Meghalaya government and Opposition leaders at a meeting concerning COVID-19 crisis on Saturday

Shillong: Meghalaya government along with the Opposition held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state and to discuss the way forward. The meeting was chaired by Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh.

The meeting saw the participation of all the leaders, with several suggestions made by the members of the opposition. The government welcomed many of the suggestions.

The meeting decided to jointly urge the residents of the state to:

* Provide sensitive support to all COVID-19 positive individuals and those probable cases and not to stigmatise any individual as the virus can affect any person.

* Not to be fearful of the virus and to follow the standard protocols relating to personal hygiene, hand washing, cough etiquette, and social distancing.

* As per existing data, most people affected by the virus will not need hospitalisation and will recover by being under home isolation. The government is fully prepared to deal with all cases that may need hospitalisation.

* Be respectful and kind to all the healthcare staff and other frontline workers.

The meeting was attended by chief minister Conrad K Sangma, deputy CM Prestone Tynsong, home minister Lahkmen Rymbui, health minister AL Hek, Leader of Opposition Dr Mukul Sangma, MLA Charles Pyngrope, MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, MLA Zenith Sangma, MLA M Syiem, chief secretary MS Rao and other senior officials from the health department and other key departments.

Several actions of the government to fight the virus were highlighted in the meeting, with Rao giving a detailed presentation. There has been an increase in testing capacity since the detection of the first COVID-19 positive case, said Rao. “The capacity of RT-PCR testing is being increased from 90 to 370 by mid-May. 50,000 antibody RD kits will be available by the first week of May,” he added.

Health systems are being constantly strengthened and adequate stocks of health equipment are now available across the state — PPE (64,458), N95 masks (80,190), BiPAP Machines (60) and 3-ply masks (5,10,000).

Quarantine, corona-care, and isolation xentres have been set up across the state to meet any surge situation. Doctors and other frontline medical staff including ambulance drivers and housekeeping staff are also being well taken care of, said Rao.

Surveillance and monitoring of all the registered 5,200 individuals are being carried out by the government, he added.

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