Shillong: Notwithstanding the Central government voicing concern over the rising cases of COVID-19 in Meghalaya, State Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek on Monday claimed that the curve was ‘flattening’ with the daily cases of infection on the decline.
Hek was reacting to Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh’s statement expressing concern over the high number of cases in Meghalaya, compared to other Northeastern states.
Meghalaya on Monday recorded nine COVID-19 related deaths, mounting the fatality figure to 871 and 377 cases of infection added up to 4,354 active cases, while 448 recoveries surged the number of recovered cases to 46, 676 in the state, which has registered 51, 901 confirmed cases till date, even as the positivity rate in East Khasi Hills, including Shillong was stated to be over 10 per cent.
“It is very difficult to predict on COVID-19. If we can say except Meghalaya, tomorrow in some other state it might decline, it might be spike also. This is a very uncertain virus. Today it might go up, tomorrow it might go down also, so that will be happening. If it is regularly increasing, then only we can say it is increasing. It is plateauing… it is flattening now,” the health minister said.
Asked if there would be further increase in infection, Hek said it would depend on the behaviour of the citizens. “If they follow the protocol, of course it will be declining, if they don’t, it might be increasing,” he said.
“Among the Northeastern states, Meghalaya is the only exception which witnessed a surge due to the COVID-19 cases at a prison in Ri Bhoi district,” Singh had said in the course of his address during a virtual meeting with senior officials from North East on Saturday, and had also pointed out that there has been a progressive decline in COVID-19 cases in all other Northeastern states.
On this the health minister, who is also in-charge prisons, said 63 inmates at Mawsyntai jail in Ri-Bhoi district and all medical care have been provided to the,
Director of Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said the COVID-19 related deaths recorded were four in East Khasi Hills district, two in West Jaintia Hills district and one death each in South West Garo Hills district, South West Khasi Hills district and West Garo Hills district.
Of the 377 new COVID-19 infections, he said 134 new cases were detected in Ri-Bhoi district, 128 in East Khasi Hills district, 37 in West Khasi Hills district, 27 in West Garo Hills district, 23 in West Jaintia Hills district, 11 in East Jaintia Hills district, seven in East Garo Hills district, four in North Garo Hills district and two cases each in South Garo Hills district, South West Garo Hills district and South West Khasi Hill district.
The East Khasi Hills has 1,487 active COVID-19 cases, followed by Ri-Bhoi district with 818 active cases, West Jaintia Hills district with 577 active cases and West Garo Hills district with 467 active cases while the seven other districts of the State have less than 300 active cases each, he said.