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Lockdown extended by one more week with some relief

18 deaths, 584 new Covid cases in state

Shillong, June 4: The government has decided to extend the lockdown by one more week till June 14 in the entire state as the Covid-19 positivity rate remains a cause for concern.
Announcing this after a Cabinet meeting on Friday, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “Though it has been very difficult for the people of the state, especially for Shillong and East Khasi Hills, the Cabinet has decided that lockdown will continue for at least one week more (till June 14).”
However, in this phase of the lockdown, economic activities in districts will be allowed depending on the situation.
“This time the order is not just for East Khasi Hills. We have decided that this order will be in general for the entire state (as) we have seen that the spread of the virus is now shifting towards the rural districts,” Sangma said.
The earlier order had put total lockdown till June 7.
The chief minister said a large number of cases has been reported especially in West and East Jaintia Hills, West Garo Hills and some parts of South West Garo Hills. “This may be the appropriate time to take actions to restrict the spread of the virus.”
Sangma said the government was aware that the lockdown has been the cause of difficulty for many people but health is “far more important”.
“Though the numbers are coming down, the positivity rate still remains at double digits, which is a matter of concern. Our positivity ratio has seen a marginal decline in the past few weeks as we have seen the number of cases go down – the positivity ratio is down from 16.4% to 12% as of now,” he added.
A lockdown was first imposed in the East Khasi Hills district on May 5, which was later extended several times.
Admitting that the decision to extend the lockdown was tough, Sangma said the situation will improve after the lockdown period is over.
“Early to say but it looks like if we can control things in the next one week, if we all work together, if we all are committed and we all simply bear this next one week, I am sure that in the coming week after that, we should be able to see things improving drastically,” he said and urged the citizens to cooperate.
The government has also decided to allow the deputy commissioners to open up economic activities as per need.
Deputy commissioners has been asked to take the recommendations from SDOs and BDOs for allowing rural activities depending on the prevalence rate.
“It is a model where we continue with the lockdown and at the same time allow economic activities,” Sangma he said.
The government has also decided to allow churches and other places of worship to ring the bells and carry out activities which do not involve crowding. This decision was taken based on a special request made by certain church leaders, Sangma informed.

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