The Government of Meghalaya, after a cabinet meeting convened today to address the concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, has decided to keep educational institutes in the state closed till April 30.
The Government had earlier ordered the schools to be shut till April 15, but now, has decided to extend the date amid an uptick in the number of cases in the NE and across India. It will again be reviewed by the Education Department amid the prevailing situation in the entire country.
In today's meeting, it was also decided to observe the month as a "period of farmers", in a bid to encourage them to take initiatives. However, they will do so under condition of being guided by the health officials of the state, in the midst of the pandemic.
Additionally, the Government has decided that on April 21, after the 21-day lockdown period is over, private vehicles can ply on the roads and Government officials have been asked to re-join service.
MGNREGA workers will also begin their work and their wages and money meant for clearance of bills amounting to Rs 534. 4573 crore have been sanctioned and released to the respective BDOs.
It may be mentioned here that the Meghalaya cabinet also decided to extend financial help to those wage earners, labourers or petty traders who are out of work, under a scheme which will be known as CM Relief against wage lost scheme for daily wage earners, at the rate Rs 700 per week, which will be transferred to their accounts.
(Beneficiaries who are not entitled include those beneficiaries who are already registered in building and construction workers BOCW and those who already got the job card under MGNREGA muster roll, casual contractual govt semi-govt, registered farmers, etc.
Meanwhile, the weekly markets will be re-opened, although the people attached will have to undertake certain health precautions. Also, building of roads and other projects which were sanctioned last year is all set to begin on April 15, a day after the end of the nationwide lockdown.
Meanwhile, the administration has identified 2,192 students and others from the state who are outside but want to come back. The Government, however, has advised them to stay put at least until the end of April.
Although the state is yet to register a single case of the COVID-19, the Meghalaya Government has advised all the citizens to use face masks in public and follow hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing protocols against the coronavirus pandemic that has affected over 1 million people worldwide.
On Friday, the members of the Medical Expert Committee constituted by the Meghalaya Government had a discussion with the Chief Secretary about the usage of masks to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chief Secretary informed that the members deliberated upon the WHO recommendations on the effectiveness of use of masks in preventing community spread.
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