Highly infectious ‘Delta’ variant of Covid in State

Shillong, June 10: The Delta variant of Covid-19 has been found in the state even as the authorities concerned are taking necessary measures to contain the spread of the disease.
This highly contagious variant may be responsible for the sudden surge in the number of cases in the rural areas of the state.
“After doing the genome sequenced of large numbers of samples, we are seeing that this is more of a Delta variant that we have which is a very highly infectious and high transmissible variant,” Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed today.
Stating that the spread is taking place throughout the state, Sangma said the epicentre is shifting slowly from Shillong and East Khasi Hills and is happening in other districts as well.
“We have seen three districts including West Garo Hills and West Jaintia Hills – which have crossed and have touched about 70-80 cases on an average in the last few days. Now, we are seeing Shillong and East Khasi Hills having about 200 plus average cases in a day,” he said.
The Chief Minister said seeing it is a concern that these districts are being impacted and as such he has decided to visit Jowai tomorrow to review the overall preparedness of the two districts of Jaintia Hills region to tackle the situation.
“We have been getting good reports that the infrastructure is coming up very fast including the oxygen plants – so all these aspects will be reviewed,” Sangma added.
Informing that the state is seeing more new cases than the recoveries during the past 24 hours, he said that the government will observe the situation in the next few days and make sure that the rural areas and rural infrastructure is also equally prepared for the situation.
Asked why there is a spread in rural areas despite containment measures imposed in East Khasi Hills, which is the worst affected district in the state, the Chief Minister said, “The containment measures have been taken in East Khasi Hills and therefore we are seeing the results in East Khasi Hills that the numbers are going down. Definitely in the rural areas since the areas are quite vulnerable open, people are moving – the fact that this variant also that we have found in Meghalaya is also an infectious one therefore, all these factors have led (to such a situation).”
“All the deputy commissioners have taken measures at their own level so the numbers are high but definitely if right measures are taken now also we should be able to keep things under control,” he added.
Sangma said the government also needs to ensure that more containment areas are created to ensure the spread of the virus is not allowed.
To another query, he said “It is a matter of concern, no doubt about it but we have definitely made as much arrangements as possible. We have to be careful, we have to keep a watch and we have to continuously monitor the situation and continuously improve on the overall setups and infrastructure at the grassroot level also.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister informed that the government will take a call on whether to continue with the lockdown measures after seeing the trend and reports from the deputy commissioners. “We will take a call tomorrow on how we move forward but as I said I keep maintaining that we are trying our best to ensure that keeping health as a priority we also realized that economic activities need to be balanced out so we look into those aspects also,” he added.