SHILLONG, May 20 - The Meghalaya Government today admitted that it was �unprepared� when the first COVID-19 case was reported in the State. However, it claimed that the State machinery is now better prepared to handle the pandemic situation.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that when the first COVID 19 cases were reported, the situation was different. �Of course everyone was so unprepared. Now we are in a position to take care of the situation,� Tynsong stated.
The Deputy Chief Minister was referring to a new case of COVID-19 detected in West Garo Hills last evening. The person in question had returned from Chennai, Tynsong said, adding that there was no cause of panic.
The first COVID-19 patient of the State, a physician who subsequently died, did not get a burial place for over 24 hours. Residents of different locations here refused to offer a place of burial. The manner in which the district administration had handled the situation, raised several questions.
Thereafter, as many as 12 primary contacts of the first patient had tested positive. There were several issues with the testing procedure, availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and gloves. The details of the secondary and tertiary contacts of the first patient were also leaked on the social media.
Tynsong stated that the State Government has decided to carry out an outreach programme for elderly people aged 60 years and above through the 7,000-odd COVID committees across the State.
He said these members of these committees would go door to door to reach out to these elderly people and generate awareness. These committees will be headed by local headmen, and will also have government officials, ASHA workers and others.
The State has sent 3,354 samples for tests so far and 3,158 of them have been found negative. The results of 182 tests are awaited. There is one active case as of now.