Shillong(Meghalaya), May 15 :Over 7,000 people stranded across the country may return to Meghalaya soon and the state’s capacity to test COVID-19 cases is expected to reach 600 a day within two weeks, members of the Assembly were informed on Thursday after a joint meeting of both the government and the opposition .
“Within the next two weeks, the capacity is expectedto increase to 600 tests per day,” a joint statement signed bythe Speaker, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Leader ofOpposition Mukul M Sangma, said.
As of now ,on an average, around 150 COVID-19 tests are conducted daily in the state.
Till Wednesday, a total of 2,537 samples have been tested in the state which currently has one active coronaviruscase. One patient had died of the disease and 11 have been cured, the chief secretary said at the meeting.
He said over 9,400 people of Meghalaya, who have been stranded outside the Northeastern region, have registered their names in a government web page created for the purpose.
“Of them, 7,100 are expected to return,” Rao informedthe MLAs.
The top official also provided them with the protocolbeing followed in bringing back the people of Meghalaya fromvarious parts of the country.
He said 3,978 people, mainly those stuck in other Northeastern states, were already brought back.
A total of 1,861 free provision kits were distributed till May 13 for all individuals under mandatory home quarantine.
Besides, a total of 2,653 home visits were made for enforcing quarantine, the chief secretary said.
Rao said that Meghalaya now has 3,227 beds available for treating COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile , as the one and only train specially arranged by the Gujarat Government for Meghalaya left for Guwahati early this morning some residents were desperate to include their names in the passenger list for the special train headed home.
Some of them are people who were the first ones to register to the Meghalaya portal.
Cyril Diengdoh , IAS who is supervising the entire process said that they are working closely with the Government of Gujarat to gather all the stranded students and workers who are scattered all across the state, the majority being from Ahmedabad city.
Yesterday, the list showed 217 persons registered for the train home but by the evening it had expanded to over 230 as the names missed out were added.
(With Agency & Bureau inputs )