Meghalaya, With No COVID-19 Case, Says Will Relax Lockdown From April 15

Meghalaya, With No COVID-19 Case, Says Will Relax Lockdown From April 15

All government offices in Meghalaya will start functioning from April 15 after the nationwide lockdown ends, private vehicles will be allowed on roads and agricultural activity will be resumed, the state government said today, adding that educational institutions will remain closed till the end of this month. Meghalaya, which has not reported any coronavirus cases so far, is the first state to announce the partial lifting of the lockdown while others have been indicating that curbs may continue amid rapid spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

"While all government offices will start functioning with full staff strength from April 15, schools and educational institutions will remain closed till April 30," read an official statement after a cabinet meeting.

Farmers will be allowed to work in the fields and weekly markets in rural areas will be resumed with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols as prescribed by the health department, the statement said.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) activities will also be allowed to resume in the villages.

Private business establishments, however, will remain closed.

Under the Chief Minister's Relief Against Wage Loss scheme, all the wage earners, daily laborers, and petty traders, who are out of work during the COVID-19 lockdown, will receive Rs 700 per week. The financial assistance will be transferred directly to the eligible beneficiary's account.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month announced a "total lockdown", which began on March 25, to control the spread of COVID-19. Across India, over 4,400 have contracted infection so far, at least 114 have died.