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Williamnagar residents flag Covid grievances

Williamnagar, Jul 31: Residents of Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district under the banner of Covid-19 Task Force have expressed various grievances over the handling of the pandemic by the district administration.
In a letter to the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Swapnil Tembe, the residents expressed their unhappiness over the movement of goods vehicles, whose drivers, they alleged, were mingling with crowds in the main bazaar area, putting everyone’s life in danger of infection.
“We have been lending a helping hand to the administration but there are certain factors being overlooked by the administration, which if not checked, could bring about disaster,” said Apu Marak, the publicity secretary of the Task Force.
“These vehicles arrive from contaminated areas and the drivers are not following directives. They not only enter crowded markets but also move around freely. This is dangerous in the current context,” felt Marak.
The Task Force also expressed concern while opining that community transmission of the virus has already struck Shillong in spite of which various government officials are proceeding to the capital for duties while a few others are returning during the weekdays.
“It is worrying that they are returning without prior testing and undergoing a period of self-isolation. There is an instance when an employee tested positive for Covid-19 on his return from East Garo Hills district. Government employees are at high risk of contracting the deadly disease if such affairs are not taken care of immediately,” they said.
They further alleged that vehicles, which should have been entering the State through the various designated entry points, were instead entering through Dainadubi in North Garo Hills which is not a designated entry point.
“It has been clearly mentioned that RTK (anti body testing) needs to be done on entering the screening point. They will be allowed to enter only on testing negative. Once tested positive, they need to be quarantined and tested for RT-PCR,” added Apu.
The Task Force believes that these present anomalies needed to be corrected with immediate effect or the situation is likely to get worse.
“We demand that arrangements be made for providing packaged food to the truck drivers so as to avoid self-cooking. Proper and separate accommodation be provided to them if they halt overnight and separate toilets be given to them as it is feared that sharing of public toilets may lead to further worsening of the present crisis,” they said.
They also proposed that separate arrangements be made for testing and isolating government officials arriving from East Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi districts. Further they felt that if possible, such movement of officials to and from containment zones should be postponed except in medical emergencies.
The task Force is also batting for the setting up of entry points possibly at every route connecting the district in order to limit the number of imported cases to the district.