The opposition Congress has slammed the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government for its failure in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opposition party also alleged that people representing business houses from outside are allowed to sneak into the state to have regular meetings with the Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, despite the restriction on the entry of people from other states.
AICC secretary and party spokesperson and Rangsakona MLA, Zenith Sangma told reporters that there was absolutely no road map and there has been lack of coordination between the government and the district administrations in as far as handling the COVID-19 situation.
“The COVID pandemic is a burning issue across the globe and because of this everybody is living on the edge but in the context of Meghalaya, what I could see is a complete failure of the management in fighting against coronavirus,” Sangma said.
He said the government has turned deaf ears despite repeated request to come up with proactive measures so that the state will be able to handle any kind of challenges and unforeseen situation due to the pandemic adding but all this is not being spelled out properly by the government of the day.
On the lack of coordination, the Congress leader said different administrations are having different ideas in as far as fighting against the pandemic.
“Just last week, I got to know that when any patient is being referred to NEIGRIHMS or any referral centre, the patient party doesn’t get ambulance from Garo Hills. By anticipating this, we have been flagging this issue before the government because if any ambulance comes from Tura to bring patient to Shillong, while returning, they have to compulsorily quarantine for 14-28 days,” he said.
“Now, because of this situation, the patients are bringing ambulance from Goalpara, Assam. I had spoken to the Director of Health Services, but he is not aware of this. How can you bring ambulance from Goalpara? This is clear that there is no proper road map,” he further added.
Sangma said only when the situation is out of control, the state government now constituted the COVID committees to be headed by the MLAs of different constituencies when this should have been done much earlier.
Expressing concern over the community spread of COVID-19, the spokesperson said, “It is quietly penetrating to the community and government (all this while) was denying but now positive cases are being found (after testing is being conducted in public places including markets)…that means the virus is penetrating to the community without the knowledge of the district administration.” He therefore, suggested the government to come up with a proper road map.
Sangma also slammed the government for allowing people representing business houses to sneak into the state.
“(At a time) when outsiders are not allowed to come to the state, but certain people representing business houses, could sneak into the state and the state secretariat to have regular meetings with the CM. How they can allow this to happen,” he said.
Asked, the MLA also alleged, “I was also told that now the government has made such arrangements wherein if people come from outside the state, they doesnt have to take permission provided that they go back and leave the state within 72 hours. (But) previously without permission, they were sneaking into the state and the secretariat.”
The Congress leader also requested the state government to look into serious issues where lots of people die because of other diseases due to medical diversion as he pointed out to the increase maternal and infant mortality rate in the state.
He also suggested the need to have temporary or make shift centres for collecting samples as people are reluctant to visit the hospitals for the same.
He said the government should also provide relief to people who are not in a position to earn their daily bread due to the pandemic.