As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Meghalaya with no signs of receding, the Meghalaya government has advised people to follow micro-level Covid appropriate behaviour to curb the infection.

The majority of positive cases in the state are detected from the rural areas on a daily basis.

According to reports, at least one in every ten villages has reported positive cases. As per official count, 2,893 active cases have been reported from 637 villages out of a total of about 6,400 villages in the state.

The Principal Secretary of Health department Sampath Kumar attributed the spread of the virus to the Delta variant. He said it is infectious and people are contracting it even with the slightest of exposures.

While there may be multiple reasons for the virus spread in semi-urban and rural pockets, a probable reason seems to be the convergence of people at community water collection centres without adherence to protocols, he added.

Kumar maintained that if people gather in a group without wearing masks, presence of a carrier in the gathering will lead to breach in protection and the chances of infection multiplies.

He further pointed out that another reason for the high number of cases in the state was vaccine hesitancy, as people showed restraint in coming forward to get tested. He added that there is a need to remove the fear of stigma as far as the disease is concerned.

West Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi reported high positivity rate but the curve flattened in the two districts with increased testing and other containment measures, Kumar said.

So far, 7,23,265 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, including 6,40,638 first and 82,627 second doses.

He asserted that the Health department will not let its guard down and continue with monitoring and community mobilization to ensure that the numbers decline at the earliest.

It may be mentioned that even as Covid cases appears to be rapidly receding in most parts of India, the rate of decline in Meghalaya as compared to other Northeastern states is slow. The second wave of the pandemic has taken a far greater toll on the state with the virus penetrating deep into remote areas.