Khliehriat (Meghalaya),July 2 : The Khliehriat, Sutnga and Lad Rymbai branches of the State Bank of India (SBI) have been temporarily closed after the branch manager of one of these branches tested positive for Covid-19 .
Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills district, F M Dopth also said that the Wika Guest House at Khliehriat has also been sealed for the time being until further orders.
Dopth also informed that contact tracing of all people who have come into contact with this branch manager is presently being undertaken and that RT-PCR tests are being conducted on all the high risk and low risk contacts.
He has also promulgated the provisions of Section 144 Cr PC read together with Regulation 3 of the Meghalaya Epidemic Diseases Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 throughout the district in addition to the provisions of Guideline No 5(1) of the Central Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs so as to contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the district.
Meanwhile, the Dorbar Shnong of Khliehriat West has come down heavily on the branch manager who they accused of attempting to bypass quarantine, thereby putting the residents of Khliehriat at risk of contracting Covid-19.
Stating that the Dorbar Shnong was not aware of the arrival of this branch manager who has recently joined the branch, the Waheh Shnong of Khliehriat West, Langmon Bareh said, “It was only after the members of the Village Defence Party (VDP) noticed that there is a new branch manager that we started to inquire how and when he arrived.”
The headman also said that he had called up this branch manager on June 20 asking him to return to Assam for the time being.
“He (bank manager) agreed to this and left for Assam on June 23 but he returned on June 28. When I called him, he told me that he has received permission from the Deputy Commissioner to return to Khliehriat,” Bareh said.
With Khliehriat West not willing to take responsibility for his quarantine, this branch manager had to go to the quarantine centre set up by the district authority at Rymbai where he tested positive for Covid-19.
Stating that they know little about this bank branch manager’s activities since he arrived on June 15, Bareh has expressed concern over the people who he might have met before being put under quarantine.
He also said that for the time being, the Dorbar Shnong of Khliehriat West has restricted the entry of outsiders which includes retailers who wish to conduct business here. It has also decided not to permit any hotel or guest house to be converted into a quarantine centre for outsiders.
It has also directed house owners not to allow any tenants from outside the state to occupy the premises which they are renting out.
Meanwhile, the Waheh Shnong of Sutnga, Bankupar Sutnga said, “After we got information that the branch manager of the Khliehriat branch had met the branch manager of the Sutnga branch of SBI, we convened an emergency meeting today through the Covid-19 Village Management Committee Sutnga and we have asked the Sutnga branch to temporarily close down till we get a medical clearance report.”
He also said that the SBI branch at Sutnga will be permitted to resume operations if and when the branch manager tested negative for Covid-19.
(By special arrangement with Highland Post )