Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on April 1 admitted that there has been a “shortage” with the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the state.

“In the current situation, we have done our best. We are continuously procuring more and more equipments, especially PPEs for doctors. Of course, there is a shortage but we are making efforts from all angles to ensure more and more of the supply comes in,” he told reporters.

“India as a whole is facing shortage but we can judiciously use medicines we have and ensure to send them across the districts,” Sangma added.

Informing that the government is planning to set up a hospital specifically for treatment of COVID-19 patients, the chief minister said, “We are exploring those necessities, we are exploring them and we are seeing where and how we can move forward in this.”

“Since the situation required immediate action and immediate movement, the government has requisitioned different locations and buildings to immediately set up Coronavirus Isolation Centres as this kind of situation is very unpredictable,” he said.

Stating that government needs to be prepared with a rapid action system to a situation that may come up in the future, Sangma said, “It is not easy to assess what’s going to happen but it will never be the same as it used to be before COVID-19 global pandemic.”

“I think the government and society will have to adapt to it and move forward,” he said.

Asked if the nation-wide lockdown will be extended after it expires on April 14, the chief minister said, “We have to see what the Government of India will decide but let us not fool ourselves that after April 14, the virus will disappear.”

He said the idea of the lockdown is to break the transmission chain so that it does not become full blown case like many countries are facing. “Having said that, post April 14, things will have to still continue in a way where we need to be careful. We may not have the kind of economic lockdown as we are having right now,” the chief minister said.

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