Attending the All Party Meeting called by Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, the opposition Congress has asked the state government to focus more on saving as many lives as possible from the onslaught of the second wave of the COVID-19 and to gear up its preparation for the third wave.
The suggestions made during the all party meeting convened by the Assembly Speaker 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 on 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 corona 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.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the meeting is sending a power 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 Dr. Mukul Sangma has 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 minimize the number of cases in order to minimize 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 said.
“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.
The leader of opposition said what is required to be done on a timely basis is the most crucial thing in any war adding therefore, the issue of surveillance which is equivalent to strong intelligence gathering when we are at war, there is strong surveillance system in place in the whole country – how to further activate them and how to audit if there are any loopholes, space and room for improvement – were also discussed.
“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 cognizance of all those concerns,” he said.
Further, the former chief minister has also requested the state government to take cognizance to concerns expressed by all stakeholders.
“So any concern must be taken cognizance of and that is how we should further proceed as this exercise will always require an endeavor to learn more and more of the enemy and an endeavor to really strategize our approach to defeat the enemy,” he stated.