Shillong, May 8: The state today reported 11 deaths and 375 new COVID-19 cases after which the state government extended the lockdown in East Khasi Hills district to 17 May. The state government had earlier imposed a 10-day lockdown in East Khasi Hills district from May 1. The lockdown was scheduled to end on May 10, but due to the "uncontrollable surge of COVID cases" the lockdown was extended. East Khasi Hills has been the worst affected out of the 11 districts of the state. Of the total 2678 active cases, East Khasi Hills district has 1583 cases. Most of the fatalities are also being reported from the same district. The 11 deaths which were reported during the past 24 hours were all reported from East Khasi districts with hospitals being slowly overwhelmed in the district.
"The situation in the state is very serious. Every day we are reporting more than 300 cases for the past 3-4 days. We were not able to reduce the number of active cases," Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong said after a review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. In view of the grim situation the lockdown is being extended in East Khasi Hills district till May 17, Tynsong announced while urging the residents to take utmost precautions.
During the lockdown, shops selling essential commodities would continue to remain open, the Deputy CM said. However, these shops are being opened on a rotation basis to avoid overcrowding and strict adherence to health protocols. Board examinations of class XII have been postponed again due to the lockdown and new dates would be announced, Tynsong said. The exams were scheduled to be held on the 11 and 12 May. However, Tynsong also announced the government's decision to ease some restrictions and said that banks and post offices would open with reduced staff strength. Moreover, home delivery would continue and construction sites where workers stay within the campus would be allowed to continue their work. But workers would not be allowed to venture out of the construction sites. Apart from that, farming activities and work concerning MGNREGA projects would be allowed to continue. The state government has reactivated NARI and 1917 ITEAMS who would buy farm products and sell them to the citizens. (Eom)