NET News Desk
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today held a detailed discussion on ‘the way forward’ after June 30 when ‘Unlock 1’ ends and the state slowly opens up for normal activities. This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a video conference on Tuesday last, had asked the states to prepare for Unlock 2.
Khandu informed that the meeting was convened to seek suggestions from all stakeholders to finalize the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) post June 30.
The discussion was attended by leaders of all political parties – BJP, INC, PPA, NPP and JDU, community based organizations represented by Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU).
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Speaker P D Sona, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Health Minister AloLibang, Education Minister TabaTedir, the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Home Commissioner, Health Secretary, Education Secretary, authorities of the state COVID Task Force and Health officials were also present in the day-long meeting.
Important issues flagged and discussed include re-opening of schools and colleges, guidelines for return of stranded people, procurement of labours, quarantine facilities, sample testing, etc.
While discussing minutely over each issue, members present appreciated the government for successfully tackling the COVID19 pandemic. Most, however, emphasized that ‘the war’ was not over and the government still needs to approach with caution in opening up normal activities.
Khandu assured that all suggestions put up by the members will be considered in finalizing the SoP for Unlock 2.
He informed that about 14000 stranded people have returned to the state, who have been put under institutional quarantine and sent for home quarantine only when tested negative for two consecutive times as per prevailing SoP.
He said a timeline will be given for people from the state outside to return probably by June 30. Those returning after the timeline will have to bear the minimum cost of institutional quarantine. However, the state government will continue to bear the expenses of the swab test. At the moment all expenses, both institutional quarantine and test, are being borne by the state government.
He also said that 5-day mandatory institutional quarantine followed by RT-PCR test of swab samples twice will be applicable to all returnees including government officials of all ranks.
Essential service providers like telecom, power, health, etc technicians and also labours procured for essential services will also need to follow the said SoP.
As for reopening of schools is concerned, Khandu said that schools will not reopen before August. The government will take a review on prevailing conditions in July and decide after receiving guidelines from the Human Resources Ministry. Colleges under Rajiv Gandhi University will reopen as per directives of the University Grant Commission (UGC), he informed.
As COVID19 is an evolving virus, Khandu said everybody, especially the healthcare specialists, are still in a learning process and dealing it with every new discovery.
“This pandemic has taught us a good lesson. We now know the significance of a robust healthcare system and the importance of self-sufficiency – atmanirbhar! We as Team Arunachal are committed to seriously work in these two sectors,” he added.
INC was represented by former Chief Minister and State Congress president NabamTuki, BJP by state president BiyuramWahge and general secretary Chow ZignuNamchoom, PPA by chairman KamenRingu, NPP by president GichoKabak and vice president NimaSangey, JDU by its president RuhiTugung, AITF by its president BengiaTolum and general secretary MontuMossang and AAPSU was represented by president HawaBagang and general secretary Tobom Dai.