Meghalaya has below 1000 capacity in quarantine centres, Health Minister thanks Dorbar Shnongs

Shillong, May 16: Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek on Saturday admitted that the State lacks quarantine centres and therefore has suggested home quarantine for the returnees.

“We have below 1,000 (rooms), where will we accommodate all of them as our stranded citizens are returning in thousands. We have our limitations, but I thank the local Dorbar for taking the initiative in setting up quarantine centre in their respective localities/villages for the returnees who are returning from various states,” he told reporters.

Hek said that in view of shortages of rooms for institutional quarantine, the government has sought the help of the various dorbar shnongs (local administrative bodies) to let such returnees stay in schools or community centres during the quarantine period.

The State government apart from its own institutions has also enlisted various hotels, guest houses and home stays as quarantine centres but still these do not add up.

Earlier this week, the opposition leader, Dr Mukul Sangma had expressed his doubts over home quarantining and whether those people will follow the protocols.

Sangma had said that quarantining of returnees to the state should be effectively enforced to ensure safety and not to be taken as a mere advisory of the government.

“Quarantine is an issue of enforcement and not just advisory,” he had said.

However, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong said that stranded citizens who returned to Meghalaya from states categorised as ‘Red Zones’ should go for home quarantine, and the whole family members of the the returnees should be also quarantined.

The home quarantine period for those coming from states of the Northeastern region is 14 days.

“Those who have returned from outside the Northeastern region, will have to quarantin for 14 days and then they will have to be under self- observation for another 28 days,” Tynsong said.

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