Shillong: Meghalaya on Friday recorded 121 new COVID-19 infections, the highest daily spike this year, taking the number of active cases to 565 while the death toll reached 152, health officials said.
With the rising COVID-19 infections in East Khasi Hills district, the district administration has ordered closure of shops and business establishments, markets and roadside vendors on Sundays, while only 50 percent staff in Group C and D category would work in the Secretariat.
Meghalaya has been witnessing the spike in COVID-19 since April 9 with more persons testing positive for the virus in different parts of the State.
Director Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said a 34-year-old man Bron Narlong of Ri-Bhoi district succumbed to COVID-19 at Civil Hospital, Shillong in East Khasi Hills district on Thursday.
Out of the new cases reported on Friday, Dr. War said 80 were reported from East Khasi Hills district, 26 from West Jaintia Hills district, five each from Ri-Bhoi district and East Jainta Hills district, two each from South West Khasi Hills district and West Garo Hills district, besides one from North Garo Hills district.
With 430 active COVID-19 cases, East Khasi Hills that includes State capital Shillong is the most affected district, followed by West Jaintia Hills district with 84 active cases, 25 in Ri-Bhoi and 11 in East Jaintia Hills district.
Dr. War said 12 persons have also recovered on Friday, taking the total recovery from across the State to 13,986.
Meghalaya has so far registered 14, 703 COVID-19 cases, including 152 deaths with 1.04 per cent case fatality rate and 13,986 recoveries, even as 156 persons were in institutional quarantine, 409 in home isolation while 19 areas has been declared as micro containment zones, Dr. War informed.
Dr. War said 1, 71,270 doses of the Covishield vaccine have been administered across the State till date and total number of persons administered both the doses was 45, 438.
Meanwhile, the District Magistrate of East Khasi Hills, Isawanda Laloo in exercise of the powers conferred upon under Section 144 Cr.P.C. read together with Regulation 3 of the Meghalaya Epidemic Diseases, COVID–19 Regulations, 2020, has prohibited the opening of shops and establishments, roadside markets and roadside vendors, both in fixed premises or otherwise in Shillong agglomeration on Sundays till further orders.
“The order is necessitated based on the report received that a large number of shops, roadside markets and vendors in different areas across the city are operating on Sundays which attract sizeable crowds, public at a single point and as per reports received and inspections conducted, COVID-19 protocols of physical distancing, hand hygiene, masks wearing, etc are not being followed and the number of cases across the state is increasing and in order to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in the district,” Laloo specified in her order issued on Friday.
Pharmacies and Pharmaceuticals stores are exempted from this order.
The District Magistrate stated that non-compliance to SOPs at all times will be met with penalties as per law.
The Meghalaya Civil Secretariat, Shillong will function at 50 per cent strength from Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ staff until further notice, an official notification said on Friday.