Guwahati/Shillong, April 21 (IANS) With one more coronavirus case reported in Meghalaya, the number of cases in the northeastern region rose to 49, ministers and officials said on Tuesday.
The bulk of the cases – 34 – are from Assam, where so far 19 patients have been released from the hospital as recovery.
In Shillong, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma tweeted that one more positive case was detected late Monday night, taking the state’s total to 11 active cases after one death.
The latest positive case is a 42-year-old woman, who is a family friend of the first Covid-19 patient, a 69-year-old doctor, who died on April 15, two days after he tested positive. The deceased doctor, owner of the private Bethany Hospital in Shillong, had no travel history except that his son-in-law, who is an Air India pilot, had been to Covid-19-infected countries and had returned home on March 22.
A day after the economic and manufacturing activities partially resumed in all the eight northeastern states amid the lockdown but with social distancing guidelines, government offices also started functioning on Tuesday with a lesser number of employees.
In Assam, government and semi-government offices reopened on Tuesday with 33 per cent employees on duty.
According to an Assam government official, adhering to the lockdown protocols and physical distancing norms, the employees were also seated at a distance of three to five metres from each other.
Sanitisation of hands and disinfection of office complexes were also done as usual.
In Guwahati and Dispur, the employees were transported to and from their offices in buses arranged by the Assam State Transport Corporation while in other parts of the state, the government staffs came to their workplace by their own vehicles.
Assam Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar Krishna on Monday said that all government offices and PSUs would have to provide transportation and no private vehicle would be allowed.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday interacted with over 3,500 ‘gaonburas’ (village elders) and ‘sardars’ (heads) of tea gardens through audio conferencing system and appealed to them to play an effective role in generating consciousness among people on the importance of maintaining social distancing in their respective areas to curb the pandemic.
Appreciated the elderly men forng their support in making the lockdown successful in Assam, he informed them that the state government has relaxed lockdown conditions for taking up certain economic and farm activities as per guideline of the central government, and requested them to keep close watch on the distribution of essential commodities supplied by the state government.
In Agartala, Tripura Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar, in an order said that all Group “A” and”B” category officers and employees would attend offices regularly, while all government departments would prepare a daily or weekly roster of Group “C” and “D” category employees as per requirement who would attend the office physically and remaining would work from home.
In Manipur, the state government is considering opening grocery booths along the border with Myanmar in a bid to prevent people from crossing over to buy essentials. An official on Tuesday said that the state government is considering opening of few grocery kiosks in some areas along the borders in Churachandpur, Kamjong and Tengnoupal districts as a section of people are habituated to cross the border to buy essential items.
People on both sides of the border are allowed to travel up to 20 km without travel documents as part of an agreement between the two countries.