Role Of Traditional Heads In: Containing The Outbreak Of Covid-19
Eastern Panorama|July 2020
Meghalaya has the lowest number of Covid-19 positive cases among the other states in India with 59 cases. The government took a wise decision at every crucial moment and handled the situation very well. Even before the countrywide lockdown, the state government got the message across and the result was that the people got used to lockdown conditions well in advance. The success in controlling the outbreak of COVID-19 in Meghalaya is a collective effort from the Government initiatives along with public support. The state recorded its first positive case for COVID-19 on 13 April 2020 after a senior doctor from Bethany Hospital was tested positive. In the aftermath, the state Government has taken an initial step by sealing off all borders including inter-state, inter-district and international border.
Donboklang Wanniang

The state of Meghalaya, though home to one of the most prestigious Hospital in the country i.e. NEIGRIHMS, yet has chosen Shillong Civil Hospital as a dedicated hospital to treat COVID-19 patients, where as NEIGRIHMS hospital is being used to test samples and also treat COVID-19 patients, if the number of active cases increases. Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek assured the citizen that Meghalaya is fully prepared in combating the corona virus and its outbreak.

The state government is well planned in preventing the outbreak of COVID-19 by giving preference to quarantine all returnees for 28 days in Institutional, Community and Home Quarantine Center depending on their result. The state government has also launched the largest ‘Corona Care Centre’ and the ‘Quarantine Facility’ in Meghalaya at IIM, Shillong with a total capacity of holding 258 patients. Chief Secretary M.S Rao informed that Meghalaya has over 3,227 beds available for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Meghalaya saw over 16 thousands returnees both students and working individuals from across the country coming back to their respective homes. To facilitate the returnees, the government of Meghalaya has also set up two temporary camps in Guwahati Railway Station and Guwahati Airport. The government has made sure that no parents or relatives shall pick up their kin, instead all returnees are ferried by Government owned vehicles to their respective district where the samples are collected for further testing. All the returnees are being kept for the first three days in Institutional Quarantine Centre and if they are tested Negative they are sent to Community Quarantine Centre which is being managed by traditional heads such as Dorbar Shnong in Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Nokmas in Garo Hills.

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