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Vaccination is the need of the hour to stem COVID-19, says Meghalaya Speaker

The Speaker also appealed to citizens of the state to “remain calm and have confidence” on the government machinery put in place to fight the pandemic.

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Shillong: Amid spurt in COVID-19 infections and mounting deaths, Meghalaya Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh on Wednesday stressed the need to vaccinate to stem the spread of the contagious COVID-19 infection.

“Vaccination is the need of the hour to boost the immunity in fighting the viral infection,” the Speaker said after chairing an all-party meeting that took stock of the COVID-19 situation.

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Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Leader of Opposition Dr. Mukul Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek and other legislators were also present.

In the meeting, Chief Secretary M.S.Rao and senior officials from the Health and Family Welfare department gave presentations on the steps being taken by the government to fight the pandemic.

“I am happy to inform you that discussion was a fruitful one. We exchanged our views and opinions and all members made suggestions and feedbacks to the government,” Lyngdoh said, adding that the government has assured to take all these into consideration.

The Speaker also appealed to citizens of the state to “remain calm and have confidence” on the government machinery put in place to fight the pandemic.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the government is moving on a war footing to contain the virus and creating all different options so that the government is able to handle things and manage in a better manner now and even for the future “The worst thing we can do is to let our guards down. Therefore, we need to be prepared for all eventualities, we need to see all different kind of scenarios, do our best to ensure we are able to stop the spread of the virus even now and if most probably the third wave does come then we need to ensure that the spread is contained very fast and obviously infrastructure building is something that will be a continuous process,” Conrad said

“We have to keep in mind that no matter how many beds we get, it will never be enough. A time will come when we may run out of beds so it is a scenario which one needs to be prepared for but we will do our best to expand,” he assured.

Pointing out that vaccine was available, the Chief Minister voiced hope that once the production and supply is up and the state gets sufficient vaccines, it would help in fighting the pandemic more efficiently.

“Right now, what is in front of us is a challenge of ensuring that we reduce the speed of the spread of this virus and we need to all come together, we need to work together,” he emphasized.

“I urge all citizens to bear with us as we have to follow the protocols of Government of India and based on those protocols, the vaccination will be given and as and when your vaccination is due you will get the vaccination,” the chief minister appealed.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma of the Congress said, the “focus of government” and everyone is to save as many lives as possible – that means “we need to minimize the number of cases, thereby minimize the loss of lives”.

“Today we are in the second wave, we must be prepared for the third wave, fourth wave and this is the reason why we must all come together,” the Leader of Opposition appealed.

“What is required to be done on a timely basis is the most crucial thing in any war and therefore the issue of surveillance which is equivalent to strong intelligence gathering when we are at war, there is strong surveillance system in place in the whole country – how to further activate them and how to audit if there are any loopholes, space and room for improvement – all these things were discussed,” said Dr. Mukul, who himself is a practicing physician.

“At the same time, a stitch in time saves nine – this mantra is very crucial when we are fighting against this kind of pandemic – all these things have been discussed. We are hopeful that the government has taken cognizance of all those concerns,” the Leader of Opposition voiced optimism.

Dr. Mukul also cautioned against “self medication” and urged the people to boost their vitamin-D level and also exercise and take proper food., I will miss you Romen. I will miss you Tachou.  

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