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The Meghalaya government has decided to impose a minimum fine of Rs 500 on people who violate COVID-19 protocols which include not wearing mask, failure to maintain social distancing and spitting in public places.

“We have seen in many places people did not wear mask and did not follow the protocols. I once again urge our citizens to follow the protocols and act responsibly so that we defeat the spread of this virus,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma told reporters on July 9.

He said that the government has decided that action would be taken including imposing a fine, against people who flout the norms and protocols.

The chief minister also made it clear that it is not the government alone that fights against COVID-19, but all stakeholders and the society as a whole, from the village authority to various organizations including religious groups, have a role to play.

“Therefore it is very important for every citizen to act responsibly. We must ensure maintaining of social distance, and not going to places unnecessarily. If we are careful for ourselves, this virus will not spread and we can beat this virus. We all need to get back to normal life and we should ensure behavioral change while living with COVID-19,” Sangma said.

On wedding revelers who violate the protocols including the incident related to the wedding party in Assam, Sangma said that it is disheartening that officers and other frontline workers work so hard to contain the spread of this virus but some people are taking thing lightly and did not respect the protocols.

He, however, assured that action would be taken against people who flout the protocols adding that the government is waiting for detailed reports from the magisterial inquiry on the incident related to the wedding party.

Admitting that the rise in the number of positive cases is a matter of concern, the chief minister however urged the citizens of the state not to panic but follow the protocols and fight together against the virus.

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