Eight new COVID-19 cases in Meghalaya
*Representative Image*

Eight new COVID-19 cases registered within 48 hours in Meghalaya:

Guwahati, April 17: Eight new COVID-19 cases in Meghalaya within 48 hours, after the state reported its first COVID-19 positive case on April 13 as a senior doctor tested positive.

A 69-year-old senior doctor of a Shillong based hospital was tested positive for COVID-19 on April 13 and he died on Wednesday morning.

All the eight people are the family members and helpers of the deceased doctor.

Out of them, seven are the family members of the deceased doctor and the rest was his helper.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that, Meghalaya’s first COVID-19 positive patient, a 69-year-old doctor died early on Wednesday and he passed away at Bethany Hospital in Shillong.

“After that, six people were tested positive on Wednesday and two more were tested positive on Thursday. Out of eight people, seven are the family members of the deceased doctor and one his helper. So far, the state has registered nine COVID-19 positive cases,” Conrad Sangma said.

The Meghalaya Chief Minister further said that, the entire government machinery, health department are working together to curb the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Our officer whether it’s from the health department or from the administration to entire government machinery is working overtime. There are some officers who have not slept for the past 24 hours and that’s the kind of dedication that they are working with. There are challenges. There are shortcomings but I can assure you what is important is to be able to respond to those challenges. What is important is to be able to rectify immediately and improve on the different shortcomings and challenges that we face. Today, our officials, from the departments as I mentioned have been working overtime. 552 tests have been conducted. We are awaiting results of 178 of them,” Conrad Sangma said.

On the other hand, the 69-year-old Shillong based doctor who died after contracting the deadly virus infection was laid to rest at the Riatsamthiah Presbyterian Cemetery at Lawmali in East Khasi Hills on Thursday.

The senior doctor’s burial ceremony was a challenge after the local people objected to the cremation.

On April 15 night, the doctor’s body was taken to the electric crematorium of the Jhalupara area in Shillong, but some locals had strongly opposed his cremation as they feared that the fumes or something would carry the virus.

On the other hand, the Meghalaya High Court on Thursday directed the state authorities to register cases against any person who obstructs in the control of COVID19 pandemic.

The Meghalaya High Court ordered that – “Any person, local body/Durbar Shnong or organization which obstructs the State authorities in the control of the pandemic or any matter connected thereto, such as dead body management, cremation and burial shall be dealt with in accordance with law and cases to be registered under appropriate provisions of law.

The Meghalaya High Court had issued the order after hearing a PIL filed by Meghalaya High Court Bar Association and said in the order that – “The State authorities to take stern action for enforcement of the Rule of Law, especially in the light of the said incidents on 15.04.2020 wherein public had broken the curfew and all social distancing norms, in coming out in protest against the proposed cremation.”