Meghalaya: There is no way out, says Dy CM on govt's decision to impose lockdown 

The sudden announcement of a lockdown on May 5 across East Khasi Hills had caused panic and mass buying. Bazaars and shops were packed as people rush to the stores to purchase essential commodities. 


By Daiaphira Kharsati | SHILLONG:

(Image source: File Photo)

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Saturday defended the government’s decision to impose a sudden lockdown on May 5, asserting that it was done to "save precious lives".

The sudden announcement of a lockdown on May 5 across East Khasi Hills had caused panic and mass buying. Bazaars and shops were packed as people rushed to the stores to purchase essential commodities. 

It was also witnessed that social distancing norms were flouted in various parts of the city following the government’s sudden lockdown announcement. 

Reacting to this, Tynsong said that containment measures were already in place and, people were told that the situation is grave.

He said that he had also received many messages about the sudden announcement of lockdown. 

“We understand the ground reality. We understand the problem but, there is no way out. We need to do it. We cannot wait for tomorrow and, we have to save precious lives. Please bear with us. The new strain is very strong. If the need arises, we may take extreme steps," the Dy CM said. 

With lockdown in place, essential shops are allowed to remain open, subject to directions from the Deputy Commissioner. 

Citizens of the state should not take advantage of the relaxation, Tynsong exhorted.

“When we give relaxation, they tend to forget that we are in the midst of a pandemic”, he said, adding that strict SOPs will have to be adhered to.

People speak on imposition of sudden lockdown

One of the residents of Shillong said that the people were not indifferent. “What about the sick or ageing parents? People who have babies need essentials also! So you expect people to sit at home and not run to buy essentials for their infants or their parents?” he said. 

Former North-Eastern Hill University Students' Union (NEHUSU) advisor Rangdajied Marwein said, “Inconsiderate. Clearly shows that the government till now has no concrete plan on how to tackle the sudden rise in cases. Clearly shows Meghalaya is a kakistocracy."

The secretary of Raid Kongthong, Stogent Lynrah, said, “As one of the leaders of a village, we feel that the sudden lockdown does not impact the people much but, it is a huge burden on the farmers, especially with transporting the vegetables to the market."

“But if the government does not call for the lockdown, it will further lead to rising cases. I can see a danger in that. But what is baffling is why are COVID cases rising after the GHADC elections?” he asked. 

Another citizen, R. Kharkongor said that Below Poverty Line (BPL) families need to fulfil their basic needs and, it is a loss to the farmers as their vegetables will get spoiled.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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