ITANAGAR, June 18 - Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today held a meeting with representatives of different political parties and community-based organisations (CBOs) here to discuss �the way forward� as the �Unlock 1� phase of the ongoing lockdown is set to end on June 30, stated a press release from the CMO here.
Khandu said that the meeting was convened to seek suggestions from all stakeholders to finalise the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) post June 30. Important issues discussed included reopening of schools and colleges, guidelines for return of stranded people, procurement of workers, quarantine facilities, sample testing, etc.
The participants of the meeting stressed that the Government needs to exercise caution while opening up normal activities in the State.
Khandu said that about 14,000 stranded people have returned to the State, who underwent institutional quarantine and were sent to home quarantine only after testing negative for two consecutive times as per the prevailing SOP.
He said that a deadline would be set for people from the State, to return (probably by June 30). Those returning after the deadline, will have to bear the minimum costs of institutional quarantine. However, the State Government will continue to bear expenses of the swab tests. At the moment, all expenses � both institutional quarantine and tests � are being borne by the State Government.
Khandu said that a five-day mandatory institutional quarantine, followed by two RT-PCR tests, would be applicable for all returnees, including government officials of all ranks. Essential service providers like telecom, power and health workers, and technicians and other workers will also need to follow the SOP.
�This pandemic has taught us a good lesson. We now know the significance of a robust healthcare system and the importance of self-sufficiency � Atmanirbhar! We as Team Arunachal are committed to seriously work in these two sectors,� the Chief Minister said.
Khandu said that schools would not reopen before August. The Government will review the prevailing conditions in July and make a decision after receiving guidelines from the Union HRD Ministry. Colleges under the Rajiv Gandhi University will reopen as per directives of the University Grants Commission, he added.
The meeting was attended by leaders of various political parties including the BJP, Congress, PPA, NPP and JD(U), and CBOs represented by Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum and All Arunachal Pradesh Students� Union.
Deputy CM Chowna Mein, Assembly Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Health Minister Alo Libang, Education Minister Taba Tedir, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, DGP RP Upadhyaya, Home Commissioner, Health Secretary, Education Secretary, members of the State COVID Task Force and Health officials were also present in the day-long meeting.