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The Meghalaya government on March 6 scaled down the ‘Meghalayan Age Festival’ to a conference with participation of limited invitees following concerns over the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus.

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“The state government was fully cognizant of the situation and public advisory released by the Union ministry of health and family welfare and decided not to go ahead with the festival,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma told reporters.

He said that the festival was planned six months back, but there was no way but to cancel it, by limiting it only to a conference.

The conference will be held at the same venue at Wenfield, Thadlaskeiñ in West Jaintia Hills district – the same place where Bacardi NH7 Weekender is hosted.

“As mass gatherings are to be avoided as per the advisory, the government decided that the earlier planned events such as evening music concerts and tethered balloon flights will not be held for the first three days,” Sangma said.

The chief minister informed that the first three days will only be a “media conference” and a “familiarization trip” for the 50-70 invitees who will be going through the existing screening process as per Government of India and state government’s protocols.

He said the situation is being monitored closely and the state government is continuously reviewing the situation.

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The chief minister also said that the state tourism department has taken steps in coordination with the state department of health and family welfare to ensure that all protocols and precautionary measures are adhered to.

He informed that the situation is being monitored closely and the state government is continuously reviewing the situation.

Sangma said that the annual trade fair, which was supposed to be held at Madan Iewrynghep has been cancelled, as there were participants from Thailand as well.

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