The state government has decided that rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and reverse trasnscription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) will be carried out simultaneously for screening of stranded people who returned to the state from places categorized as red zone.
“We have decided to simultaneously take RDT and RT-PCR tests of stranded people including students who returned to the state,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters after a review meeting held here on Tuesday.
He said once both tests for COVID-19 are taken, returnees will not be allowed to go back home until report is received.
“If the report is negative, then we will send them to their respective places where they will have to observe quarantine period as prescribed by the health department,” Tynsong added.
The Deputy CM further informed that retest will again be conducted on those tested negative for the coronavirus after they completed 10 days of quarantine.
“A team of health volunteers will visit each and every one of them to conduct rapid test and collect samples (for RT-PCR) after 10 days,” he said.
On welcoming and receiving of stranded people coming from outside the Northeast states, Tynsong informed that the special train carrying a total of 1403 students and people working in Bangalore have left the state on Monday evening and will be reaching Guwahati railway station on May 21.
Of this, 436 are from East Khasi Hills, 209 West Garo Hills, 204 West Jaintia Hills, 129 East Jaintia Hills, 104 Ri Bhoi, 96 South West Garo Hills, 92 West Khasi Hills 61 North Garo Hills, 28 South Garo Hills, 23 East Garo Hills 21 South West Khasi Hills.
He said the next batch comprising of 120 stranded people will be leaving from Harayana, Gurgoan on May 22 and will be reaching Guwahati on May 24.
Asked, the Deputy CM informed that the state has so far welcomed and received 6811 people who returned from various parts of Northeast states as well as other states in the country.
According to him, over 5500 to 6000 people from the state are still stranded in the different states outside the region including Pune, Mumbai, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh and others.
“We are still taking up with the railway authority and also the respective states. In places where our people are less in number, we are also coordinating with other NE states to arrange special train to bring them back along with stranded people from the region,” he said.
Meghalaya has been declared as coronavirus free state after all its 12 patients have fully recovered.
When asked, the Deputy CM however said, “We should not take it lightly as we cannot say that we are totally safe from COVID-19. We request the citizens to let us be alert, takecare of ourselves and in totality adhere to the SOPs and protocols issued by the state government and health department from time to time. Until and unless we adhere to the protocols and SOPs I think will not be able to fight against the COVID-19 as there is no vaccine.”
He further informed that a total of 3354 samples were tested as on today out of which 3091 were negative while test results of 250 is awaited.