SHILLONG, Aug 5 - Under pressure from the Meghalaya High Court and the Opposition Congress, the Meghalaya Government today said an inquiry committee has been constituted to probe the death of a newborn at the Ganesh Das Hospital due to alleged stigmatization arising out of COVID-19 factors.
It may be mentioned here that an expecting mother was initially denied admission to the Ganesh Das Hospital as she had come from a containment zone, Mawlai-Mawtawar. Though she was admitted later, there was a considerable delay and she lost her baby.
�An inquiry committee has been formed, which will be headed by the Director of Health Services, Aman War, to probe the Ganesh Das Hospital incident. The committee has been given two weeks� time to submit its report,� Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said today.
The Meghalaya High Court has already directed the State Government through the Advocate General, to furnish details on the newborn�s death and furnish these to the Court.
�This Court notes that this incident has in the past few days been widely reported and is indeed very unfortunate to say the least, more so, when the mother of the baby is a resident of a designated containment area wherein strict protocols and SOP�s are supposed to be in place,� the Court observed.
The Congress has also demanded that the Government should come up with a �strong legislation or ordinance�, notifying social stigma a criminal offence.
Meghalaya has till date registered 930 COVID-19 positive cases with five deaths and 339 recoveries. There are currently 595 active COVID-19 cases with 22 new cases reported till Wednesday afternoon. Most of these cases are from the East Khasi Hills district.
To fight the pandemic, the State Government is planning to establish a plasma bank and treat patients through plasma therapy. Tynsong said creation of the plasma bank in the State is in full swing. �We have received confirmation from the NEIGRIHMS that establishment of the plasma bank is in full swing,� he added.
Meanwhile, there are incidences of people furnishing wrong identification details and phone numbers during COVID-19 testing. Tynsong said that action would be taken against such individuals who furnish wrong information.
The Deputy Chief Minister also pointed out that trucks carrying vegetables from farmers are permitted to run, and nobody should stop these essential services. He asked the district administrations, where such disruptions have occurred, to take necessary steps to ensure smooth transportation of goods.