SHILLONG, March 6 - The Meghalaya Government has decided to cancel the Meghalayan Age Festival and instead hold a conference in its place due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in India.
The festival was scheduled to be held from March 7 to 15 at Wenfield, Thadlaskein, in West Jaintia Hills.
�The festival has been scaled down to a conference with participation of limited invitees only,� Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, adding that the decision to cancel the festival was taken by the Department of Tourism as a �precautionary measure�.
Sangma said as mass gatherings are to be avoided as per the advisory of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, planned events like evening music concerts and tethered balloon flights would not be held during the first three days.
Instead, there will be a media conference and a familiarisation trip for the 50-70 invitees. Later, ministers and officials will join the conference.
The Chief Minister added that all the invitees would go through the existing screening process as per the protocols of the Government of India and the State Government.
The Meghalayan Age Festival was conceptualised to attract tourists, especially those with a keen interest in adventures, to the Jaintia Hills region which has a large number of caves.
�The State Government is continuously reviewing the situation,� Sangma said on steps being taken to prevent any possible outbreak of COVID-19 in the State.