Delta variant of COVID-19 found in Meghalaya


A recent genomic study reveals the presence of Delta variant of COVID-19 in Meghalaya as Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said after doing the genome sequence of large number of sample report received by State Government; it is revealed that this highly infectious variant is present in the state, even as the authorities concerned are taking necessary measures to contain the spread of the disease.

This highly contagious variant may be responsible for the sudden surge in the number of cases in the rural areas of the state.

“After doing the genome sequenced of large numbers of samples, we are seeing that this is more of a Delta variant that we have which is a very highly infectious and high transmissible variant,” Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters on Thursday.


Stating that the spread is taking place throughout the state, Sangma said the epicentre is shifting slowly from Shillong and East Khasi Hills as the spread is happening in other districts as well.


“We have seen three districts including West Garo Hills and West Jaintia Hills – which have crossed and touched about 70-80 cases on an average in the last few days. Now, we are seeing Shillong and East Khasi Hills having about 200 plus average cases in a day,” he said.


The chief minister said seeing this matter of concern coming up that these districts are being impacted, he has decided to visit Jowai on Friday to review the overall preparedness of the two districts of Jaintia Hills region for tackling the pandemic situation.


“We have been getting good reports that the infrastructures are coming up very fast including the oxygen plants – so all these aspects will be reviewed,” Sangma added.


Informing that the state is seeing more new cases than the recoveries during the past 24 hours, he said that the government will observe the situation in the next few days and make sure that the rural areas and rural infrastructures are also equally prepared for the situation.


Asked on the reason for the spread in rural areas despite containment measures imposed in East Khasi Hills, which is the worst affected district in the state, the chief minister said, “The containment measures have been taken in East Khasi Hills and therefore we are seeing the results in East Khasi Hills that the numbers are going down. Definitely in the rural areas since the areas are quite vulnerable open, people are moving – the fact that this variant also that we have found in Meghalaya is also an infectious one therefore, all these factors have led (to such a situation).”


He however added “all the deputy commissioners have taken measures at their own level so the numbers are high but definitely if right measures are taken now also we should be able to keep things under control.”


Sangma said the government also needs to ensure more and more containment areas are created to ensure the spread of the virus is not allowed.


To another query, he said “It is a matter of concern, no doubt about it but we have definitely made as much arrangements as possible, we have to be careful, we have to keep a watch and we have to continuously monitor the situation and continuously improve on the overall setups and infrastructures at the grassroot level also.”


Meanwhile, the chief minister informed that the government will take a call on whether to continue with the lockdown measures after seeing the trend and reports from the deputy commissioners. “We will take a call tomorrow on how we move forward but as I said I keep maintaining that we are trying our best to ensure that keeping health as a priority we also realized that economic activities need to be balanced out so we look into those aspects also,” he added.