News & Information From Northeast India

Meghalaya imposes restrictions on public movement, closes market places

Meghalaya government has imposed restrictions on the movement of public transport and closed down all shops, markets, and business establishments with effect from midnight of March 20 to midnight of March 21 throughout the state.

Health officials have conducted thermal screening of more than 6,000 people entering the state at Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi district.

Commissioner and Secretary for Health and Family Welfare P Sampath Kumar on Friday (March 20) said the restrictions are imposed with a view to enforce advisories and restrictions issued by the government for containment of COVID-19 and to carry out intensive awareness programmes on preventive measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

Moreover, District Magistrate for East Khasi Hills, Matsiewdor War Nongbri has imposed Section 144 CrPC across the district for the same duration, and ordered closure of all markets and commercial establishment in the district.

Nongbri said all public transport has also been closed for this period. A restriction has also been imposed on assembly or gathering of five or more persons in public areas and premises beyond households.

Chief Secretary MS Rao has also issued an order directing 50 per cent of its employees to work from home, and the rest 50 per cent to attend office everyday by drafting a weekly roster duty, a government notification stated.

He said 50 per cent of the employees, attending the office, will comprise Group B and Group C employees. Rao said the order will remain in force till April 3.

The Chief Secretary said all administration heads and head of departments (HoDs) should ensure that 50 per cent of Group B (Pay level 11 to 14) and Group C (Pay level 2 to 10) employees are required to attend office everyday and the remaining 50 per cent staff should be instructed to work from home.

“They are also advised to draft a weekly roster of duty for Group B and Group C staff and ask them to attend office on alternate weeks,” he said. Rao said the working hours for all employees, who attend office on a particular day, should be staggered.

It is suggested that three groups of employees may be formed and asked to attend office as per the timings fixed. “The officials, who are working from home on a particular day as per the roster drawn up, should be available on telephone and electronic means of communication at all times,” he said.

However, Rao said that the employees should attend office, if called for any exigency of work.

The Chief Secretary said the instructions shall not apply to offices and employees engaged in essential/emergency services and health and family welfare department which is directly engaged in taking measures to control the spread of COVID-19 apart from departments like home (police), political, finance, planning and information and public relations.


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