With one per cent COVID-19 fatality rate, Meghalaya has registered 13,189 positive cases so far. As many as 12,470 infected persons have already recovered and the COVID-19 toll stands at 133.
Though the fatality rate is one of the lowest in the country, the first reported virus death in the State remains a sad memory as the victim – a physician – was denied the last rites at two locations by the local residents.
It was only after the intervention of the East Khasi Hills district administration and a local church that the deceased finally got a resting place. Thereafter, the district administration embarked on an awareness campaign, dispelling fears of cremation or burial of those succumbing to the virus.
After the spread of infections eased, the Meghalaya Government stopped free tests except for high-risk patients or people belonging to BPL families. Paid tests are now available in the State, which are costly.
Till date, 2,75,934 people have been tested for COVID-19 and 2,62,745 have tested negative. The East Khasi Hills district remains the worst affected, reporting 8,091 positive cases so far, out of which 7,628 are cured.
The State still has 586 active cases with East Khasi Hills having the bulk of these cases at 355, followed by West Jaintia Hills district with 108. Ri-Bhoi district has 38 active cases and West Garo Hills district has 34.
Meanwhile, the State has not relaxed the guidelines as the people have to wear masks mandatorily on the streets. There is penalty for violation of protocols. Moreover, the State’s entry point conducts a rapid antigen test on visitors at Rs 500.
Residents of the State can venture out of the State, but they have to return within five days if they want to forego virus tests. These measures, along with strict monitoring of mass gatherings, have prevented the spread of the infection to a large extent.
However, Health Department officials, fearing a second wave of infections, have warned people to avoid crowds, especially during the festive season ahead. Officials have again reminded the public of the importance of hygiene while conducting their daily routine.