Shillong, May 18 : Meghalaya opposition Congress legislator Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang on Monday asked the State government to immediately conduct random tests of villagers residing along the India-Bangladesh border following detection of COVID-19 positive cases in that neighbouring country. He said the positive case was reported from Dharmapuri village under Boglabazar Police Station in Sunamganj district of Bangladesh.
Dharmapuri village is only 500 metres away from Rynku bazar under Mawsynram Block. Shangpliang said that the he had informed Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on the detection of case after he was alerted by the BSF Company Commander of the Rynku BOP “Given the proximity of the affected village, it is mandatory that all protocols to safeguard the people from the spread of the disease are enforced,” Shangpliang said, even as he suggested that random tests be conducted immediately on residents of Ryngku, Sonatola and Dangar villages.
Shangpliang said these tests will enable the health department to carry out a survey of the villages and also prevent the villagers from contracting the disease. Although the government has announced that the international border has been sealed, the opposition Congress legislator lamented that the border remains very porous and there is continuous exchange of essential commodities between both sides even during the lockdown. Moreover, he said recently, residents of Cherakata and other adjoining villages heard the sound of gunshots from the BOP of the BSF at night.
It was later reported that the firing was to chase away Bangladeshis who tried to sneak into India. “Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that our villages are safe from the effects of the pandemic in Bangladesh,” Shangpliang said and urging Home Minister Lakmen Rymbui to immediately call for a meeting with the state DGP and IG, BSF to take stock of the situation along the international border in view of the reported rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh. (UNI)