Meghalaya govt asks armed forces to set up testing centres for COVID-19

The Meghalaya government on July 21 suggested heads of various Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and Armed Forces stationed in the state to set up their own testing units to streamline the testing process for COVID-19 and also to lessen the burden on the state government.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the Chief Secretary MS Rao chaired a meeting on Tuesday with the heads of the various CAPF and Armed Forces to discuss the pandemic.

“All the heads of different CAPF and Armed Forces have agreed to the idea of having separate testing units and will discuss it with their higher authorities,” Tynsong told reporters in his daily briefing.

“This is because of the increased cases of COVID-19 among paramilitary forces. This will enable the armed forces to test their personnel who are returning from outside the state,” Tynsong said.

The deputy chief minister informed that the Assam Rifles, which is headquartered in Nongkrem, have already assured the state government that they would set up their own testing unit in their campus and observed that if the armed forces can set up their own testing units the state government won’t have much responsibility as far as testing is concerned.

Currently the state has just three RT-PCR laboratories at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) and Pasteur Institute, both in Shillong, besides the Civil Hospital in Tura, West Garo Hills.

The state government is also looking at possibilities to have more RT-PCR labs in the state.

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