Alarmed with the outbreak of COVID-19 globally, the Jaintia Students Movement (JSM) Eastern Region on Thursday called for the immediate closure of both cement and coke plants in East Jaintia Hills from Friday till the end of March, 2020 as preventive measures against the dreaded virus.
In a letter to the Health Minister, Government of Meghalaya through the Deputy Commissioner East Jaintia Hills District, the JSM said that the Meghalaya Government has closed down all educational institutions in the State as to combat any outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 till March 31, 2020 besides closing down all tourist spots in the State till March 31, 2020 and also cancel or postpone all fetes, meeting, conference, events etc where there will be large gathering as preventive measures.
The JSM informed that there are 16 cements plants and several coke plants in East Jaintia Hills District which employed hundreds of staff and workers including migrant workers.
They also observed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the world and India, these migrant workers still continues to visit their respective home town and return to the cement plants and coke plants without any proper medical screening as to rule out any infection of COVID-19.
These migrant workers work together with local workers in the cement plants/coke plants and mingled them, they added.
In order to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and in the greater interest of the people of East Jaintia Jaintia Hills District and the State as a whole, the JSM demands from the Health Minister to order the cement plants to conduct health screening of all the staff and workers at their own expense but under the supervision of District Administration as to detect any suspected case of COVID-19 and quarantine such case and all sanitize the entire areas.
“To close down all cement plants and coke plants from 20th March, 2020 to 31st March, 2020 or extend to 15th April, 2020 and also to order the cement plants not to deduct the salary/wages of the staffs/workers or the leaves during the closure period,” said the letter.
The Jaintia Students Movement will be compel to close down all cement plants on its own on 20th March, 2020 if the Meghalaya Government fail to issue closure order to all cement plants.