SHILLONG, May 2 - There will be some semblance of normal life in the Meghalaya capital with the lifting of curfew, and opening of hardware and liquor shops from Monday next. Construction workers and government employees will also be back to work.
In a review meeting held today, the Meghalaya Government decided to allow resumption of trade and economic activities, while taking a slew of other major decisions.
The State capital has been under curfew periodically since the past several months due to law-and-order issues and the subsequent COVID-19 situation. Though day curfew will be totally lifted, night curfew will continue from 7 pm to 7 am, from Monday.
Hardware stores have been allowed to reopen as construction works will be affected without requisite materials. The liquor stores will also open as they qualify as one of the highest revenue earners for the State exchequer.
Meanwhile, the Government has directed all officers at the Secretariat and the Directorate to report for work from Monday. All offices will ensure a minimum attendance of 35 per cent of Group C and Group D employees.
Health protocols will have to be adhered to in totality, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said. This means that physical distance and proper hygiene will have to be maintained at all these places.
Further, the Government will facilitate the return of stranded people from May 5 after they register online or call on designated helpline numbers. They will, however, be screened and will also undergo rapid diagnostic kit tests at the entry points.
Only those testing negative will be allowed to go home and undergo a 14-day quarantine. The State Government will provide essential commodities to these people under quarantine through volunteers. Anyone testing positive will have to go to health institutions for treatment.
There will be four entry points at Ratacheera (East Jaintia Hills district), Byrnihat (Ri-Bhoi district), Bajengdoba (West Garo Hills district) and Tikrikilla (West Garo Hills district).
Those stranded outside the region and across the country will have to first register online or call on designated numbers from May 5 to gain entry into the State.
It may be mentioned here that Meghalaya is now left with only one active case of COVID-19. The lone patient has already tested negative in the first test and the second test report is awaited. The Deputy Chief Minister expressed the hope that Meghalaya would be COVID-free soon.
�We are yet to receive the last test of the last patient. But there is nothing to worry. We are safe and will be able to contain this infection very soon and declare Meghalaya a COVID-free State,� Tynsong asserted.