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M’laya to proceed with one-week entry point closure despite Centre’s directive

HP NEWS SERVICE
Shillong, Aug 31: All entry points in Meghalaya will be closed from Tuesday for one week despite the Union Ministry of Home Affair’s directive that there should be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods during the ongoing unlocking process.
The government plans to close all entry points into the state during the first week of each of the three months up to and including November.
Today the Meghalaya government clarified that the closure of entry points in the state is “not defying” the New Delhi’s directive but only putting in reasonable restrictions in view of the spurt of Covid-19 cases in Meghalaya.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said the government has placed restrictions on inter-state movement for the past five months fearing that unrestricted movement of people will cause an increase in cases.
“It is not a total closure but we are only regulating it because there is a spike in Covid-19 cases. We are not against MHA’s directive but the state government has to be responsible to ensure its citizens are safe and to control the spread of the virus,” he explained. “Therefore this regulation from the state government will continue but it does not mean that we restrict. There is no total closure.”
He said the decision to close down entry points was taken to ease the workload of frontline staff at these locations and also to sanitise them.
“There are many health workers who have contracted the virus at the entry points. Therefore we also need to disinfect the entry points,” Tynsong said.
The entry points are Byrnihat, Ri-Bhoi; Ratacherra, East Jaiñtia Hills; Bajengdoba, North Garo Hills; Mirjumla, South West Garo Hills; and Tikrikilla and Hallidayganj in West Garo Hills.
Tynsong cited the examples of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh where there has been a spike in the number of cases after restrictions were almost totally lifted.
“Meghalaya does not want to witness such spikes and therefore we have put in place reasonable restrictions to protect the residents of the state,” Tynsong argued.
In a communication to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories on August 22, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla reiterated to states that there should be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods.

It is not a total closure but we are only regulating it because there is a spike in Covid-19 cases. We are not against MHA’s directive…- Dy CM Prestone Tynsong