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Coronavirus: 17 departments shutdown in Meghalaya, curfew imposed in 2 districts

Press Trust of India  |  Shillong 

The Meghalaya government on Monday shut down 17 government departments till March 31 and imposed curfew in two districts in view of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.

Over 16,000 people, who returned from other states, have been screened for COVID-19 at Byrnihat in Ri-Bhoi district bordering Assam till date, they said.

Private vehicles will be allowed to ply in the state capital on odd and even numbers alternately, beginning with odd numbers on March 24, a government order said.

District authorities in Ri-Bhoi have declared night curfew from 10 pm on March 23 to 6 am on March 24, while curfew has been imposed in the entire East Jaintia Hills from Monday midnight till March 31 as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the officials said.

Both districts are bordering Assam as a result maximum movement of people and vehicles take place via this route to other states, including Mizoram and Tripura.

Ri-Bhoi District Magistrate R M Kurbah informed that the curfew was imposed in the district to prevent people from entering the state or a group of people roaming in the district without valid reasons at night.

East Jaintia Hills district SP P Vivekanand Singh said curfew has been imposed in the entire district from Monday midnight till March 31 as a precautionary measure in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Markets, commercial and financial establishments, all forms of public transport have been shut down till March 31.

Three temporary markets for vegetables and meat have been set up in the outskirts of state capital in view of the current COVID-19 crisis, East Khasi Hills district officials said.

The state government has also activated the district emergency operation centres in East Khasi Hills district, District Magistrate Matsiewdor W Nongbri said.

The state government has also announced relief for the distressed construction workers and contractual employees affected by the shutdown.

The state government has also announced Rs 1,000 relief per week for the distressed construction workers, Principal Secretary of the Labour Department, D P Wahlang said.

The department has decided and approved to pay an amount of Rs 1,000 only per worker per week for the wages foregone on account of the shutdown on commercial operations and business establishments in the state of Meghalaya, Wahlang said in a statement.

The order will be applicable for the week from March 23 to March 29 and will be reviewed again the next day, he said.

At least 30,000 persons registered with the government will benefit from this initiative of the state government, another government official said.

The state government has also warned private and public establishments not to terminate or force their employees to go on leave without wages, Wahlang said.

Transport department commissioner and secretary M R Synrem has issued restraint order on movements of private vehicles in the state except those on essential duties and government duties.

On Sunday, the Meghalaya government restricted entry of people from other states in view of the coronavirus threat.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 00:16 IST