The opposition Congress has asked Meghalaya government to focus more on saving as many lives as possible from the onslaught of the second wave of the Covid-19, and to be prepared for the third and fourth waves.
This was one of the suggestions made during the all-party meeting convened on Wednesday by Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh to discuss the prevailing situation, arising due to the uncontrollable surge in the number of new cases and deaths in the state.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma, ministers and members from different political parties attended the meeting.
Addressing media persons, the Speaker said the meeting has discussed at length issues related to the number of positive cases and deaths.
He said the government in its presentation also highlighted the steps taken on different areas, which include containment, vaccination, treatment, setting up of oxygen plants, increasing the bed capacity and identifying Covid-19 care centres.
“It is appropriate for us to sit down together as members of the House and take collective responsibility. Lots of suggestions, inputs and feedback were given and the government has assured us to take note,” Lyngdoh said.
Urging the citizens to get themselves vaccinated, the Speaker said, “Vaccination is the need of the hour to ensure we increase our immunity while fighting against the Covid-19.”
He also appealed to all stakeholders, including the traditional dorbar shnongs, religious groups, NGOs to join hands with the state government in its fight against the disease.
‘Will work together’
The chief minister said that the meeting is sending a message to the people of the state that when it comes to the lives, health and interest of the people, the ruling and the opposition will always work together.
“…all of us will always work together and give positive suggestions and ensure we always contribute in a positive manner, and that message is something which the people should understand and need to participate in while we fight this virus,” he added.
Asked, Leader of Opposition Sangma asserted that the whole focus of the government must be on saving as many lives as possible.
“We have lost quite a substantial number of precious lives, which is very painful to see. Therefore, there is a need to minimise the number of cases in order to minimise the loss of precious lives,” he said.
The former chief minister further suggested the need for the government to be prepared for the third wave of the pandemic.
“Today we are in the second wave, we must be prepared for the third wave, fourth wave and this is the reason why we must all come together,” he added.
“When we are talking about dealing with a pandemic of this nature against a very highly infectious virus and unseen enemy and an enemy of whom we are yet to know more and more because in spite of what we have known, the virus continues to mutate and mutation will continue that is how virus behaves. Therefore, the need to know about the pandemic and therefore, to fight against this enemy the wherewithal that we need or the arsenal that we need to build — all these things have been discussed today,” he added.
“At the same time, a stitch in time saves nine — this mantra is very crucial when we are fighting against this kind of pandemic — all these things have been discussed. We are hopeful that the government has taken cognisance of all those concerns,” he said.
‘Please don’t self-prescribe’
The leader of the opposition further requested the state government to take cognisance of the concerns expressed by all stakeholders.
“So any concern must be taken cognisance of and that is how we should further proceed as this exercise will always require an endeavour to learn more and more of the enemy and an endeavour to really strategise our approach to defeat the enemy,” he stated.
Sangma also asserted the importance for every citizen to boost their immune system.
This is because, he said, the fatality rate due to the virus is concentrated among the younger population.
“I had my own analysis after discussion with many of my friends from medical fraternity and scientific community, there are reasons to believe that the way of life of the millennial children is a matter of concern because the physical activity is minimum, the exposure to sun which provide space to any individual to have enough of vitamin D is a matter of concern and the food habits, the junk foods — we need to take care of all these, course correction to build up the immune system,” he said.
He further urged people to refrain from buying self-prescribed medicines to treat symptoms of Covid-19.
“I am cautioning everybody not to misuse medicines. As many know the names of medicines being prescribed by doctors for positive patients, they are buying steroids left and right and overusing, misusing resulting in suppression of immunity. Please don’t self-prescribe and please don’t go to pharmacies and buy medicines for self-medication. This is a dangerous trend and by doing this, we will only allow the virus to readapt and mutate,” he warned.