Meghalaya came to a standstill on March 21, as the government imposed a one-day ‘shutdown’ to observe the day as a ‘Corona Virus Awareness Day’ ahead of the Janta Curfew proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 22.
All government offices, financial institutions, markets, public places remained closed.
Public transport remained off the roads across the state. National Highways 40 and 44, the lifelines for Mizoram, Tripura, parts of Manipur and southern Assam, also wore a deserted look.
In his state address to the citizens on Friday night, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had urged citizens not to look at the shutdown as a ‘Lockdown’ but to utilise the the time and observe as a ‘Coronavirus Awareness Day’ to understand and prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in the state by playing our part as individuals, families, locality and society at large.
Till date, there has not been a single case detected in the State, Sangma urged the people not to be complacent.
However, he said that the “next four weeks are crucial for our state to break the transmission chain of the virus”.
Seeking the cooperation of every citizen to fight COVID-19, the chief minister appealed to every citizen of the state to adhere to all the guidelines and advisories issued by the state government.
He also urged the citizens to avoid social gatherings (social distancing), practice social distancing, maintain hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
The government has appealed to all those who have returned from outside to dial the toll free number 108 to inform about their arrival. Medical officials and paramedics will be monitoring them closely.
Moreover, the government has promulgated the Meghalaya Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 in view of the global spread of the virus.
“As per the regulations, it has been provided that all hospitals during screening of cases will have to record to ascertain history of the person if he/she has travelled to any country or area where the virus has been detected. The history of coming in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 will have to be recorded,” Chief Secretary M.S.Rao said
The government has also imposed restriction on the movement of public transport and to close down all shops, markets, and business establishments with effect from midnight of March 20 to midnight of March 21 throughout the state for containment of COVID-19.
It has also issued an order directing 50 percent of its employees to work from home, and the rest 50 percent to attend office everyday by drafting a weekly roster duty.