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Mass-combat effort in Meghalaya

The Meghalaya government has appealed to citizens to become medical volunteers to fight the pandemic
RPF personnel keep vigil on an almost deserted road in Shillong during the shutdown on Saturday.

Andrew W. Lyngdoh   |   Shillong   |   Published 21.03.20, 07:25 PM

Meghalaya witnessed a rare occasion on Saturday with wholehearted cooperation to the state government’s call to remain indoors. The phenomenon was witnessed across the state.

Since midnight, the state government had restricted the movement of public transport while closing down all establishments to carry out sanitisation and awareness campaign in view of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.

The streets here wore a deserted look with a few vehicles and a handful of commuters. The majority of people preferred to remain indoors.

During the day, municipal employees were seen sanitising various places in the city, including public spots, markets and residential localities. In other places, surveillance teams screened people entering from various points into Meghalaya, including at the Umroi airport where passengers alighted from a flight from Calcutta.

The National Cadet Corps (NCC) from Shillong joined hands with the civil administration in enforcing prohibitory orders and created awareness about coronavirus.

Eight teams of NCC cadets with one associated officer and one military staff were deployed to assist local police in the key localities.

In East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills, mock drills were organised on how to deal with the coronavirus-infected persons. East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Swapnil Tembe said medical volunteers were registered and trained during the day.

The Meghalaya government has appealed to citizens to become medical volunteers to fight the pandemic.

The volunteers include tele-callers who will disseminate information through phone calls, online influencers to build awareness and disseminate information from the government via the social media, healthcare assistants to assist doctors and nurses, on ground assistants to aid non-technical health efforts and counsellors to assist in providing well-being and emotional counselling support over phone.

In an order issued on Saturday, East Khasi Hills district magistrate Matsiewdor War Nongbri said the health services, Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL), the public health engineering (PHE) department, PWD, police and armed forces, fire service, food and civil supplies department, Shillong Municipal Board and telecom department had been included in the list of all essential services and they are expected to operate to the optimum.

In a video message, chief minister Conrad K. Sangma reiterated his appeal to citizens to maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and stay indoors to minimise the effects of the virus.

The government has also appealed to people, who have travelled to coronavirus-affected countries and other places in the last 14 days, to undergo home quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Those with a travel history in the last 14 days have to report to the state government by calling 108 or by registering online.

Medical volunteers and surveillance teams will reach out those persons/households through phone calls or visit, if required, to provide guidance and care.

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