Shillong: Meghalaya government is ensuring that every person entering the state is screened and tested for COVID-19; however, the strategy to allow people to undergo tests at their districts is now being questioned.
The latest case in this regard has emerged from Meghalaya’s Khliehriat, where a newly appointed branch manager of SBI from Guwahati, travelled straight to his destination without registering or testing anywhere. He had to be tested either at Byrnihat or Shillong Civil hospital. The person had entered Meghalaya on June 28 and was tested on June 29. His sample came positive for COVID-19.
Health minister AL Hek informed that during the entry point at Byrnihat, the person had shown his ID and did not register at that entry point since he was going to register at Shillong Civil Hospital.
The person, however, did not register in Shillong and directly travelled to Khliehriat where civil society observers immediately informed the deputy commissioner after seeing a new visitor in the area.
So what was the cause of this lapse?
Director health services, Dr Aman War, said that there might have been a communication gap between the officials at Byrnihat thinking that the person would register at Shillong Civil Hospital.
Dr War said that it appears to be a violation and if necessary, an FIR may be filed against the person, who had tested positive for directly going to Khliehriat. Dr War added that the situation could have been avoided and that this case was a learning for all of them.
“Dorbar shnongs and the locality heads are very vigilant, and without their help, we will not be able to identify such people. But with their coming in and joining hands with the government, we have been able to strengthen our checking system,” said Dr War.
When asked if it can be made mandatory to register and screen people at Byrnihat entry point?
Hek said that the decision was made to allow people to register and test at their own districts due to the long queues and mad rush at Byrnihat.
Meghalaya has a total of 52 positive COVID-19 cases. So far 42 have recovered and nine active cases. Samples sent for testing till June 30 are 19,326, out of which 19,028 have tested negative and 246 are awaited.