If ever a year’s end seemed like cause for celebration, 2020 might be it. Yet the coronavirus scourge that dominated the year is also looming over New Year’s festivities and forcing officials worldwide to tone them down.
The Health & Family Welfare department has appealed to all citizens to strictly follow the advisories on New Years’ Eve to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“All residents are urged to have simple celebrations on December 31 by maintaining COVID appropriate behaviour during these celebrations,” said the advisory issued by the Commissioner & Secretary I/c Health, Sampath Kumar on Thursday.
It said people are also requested not to converge in large numbers and take extra care to maintain COVID-19 protocols – social distancing, wearing masks in public, and use of hand sanitizers.
The department also advised all symptomatic persons to stay away from crowded places.
According to the advisory, the detection of a new and highly infectious variant of SARS – CoV-2 virus leaves no room for complacency and extra efforts must be made by each and everyone to curb the transmission of the virus.
“In view of this, the health department reiterates the importance of exercising extra caution,” it said.
The department also stated that active community participation and behavioural change have been the key factors that helped Meghalaya to not only effectively contain the pandemic but also stand out in terms of pandemic management in 2020.
“And as the year comes to an end, we once again urge each and everyone to continue to take collective responsibility, as has been done, thus far,” it added.