The Meghalaya government on Tuesday withdrew its earlier order that allowed reopening of places of worship from June 14, amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told PTI that congregations of any kind would have to be avoided for now in view of the rising cases. "We have withdrawn our previous order allowing places of worship to open, in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state," he said.
The state reported four new confirmed cases since Monday, taking up the tally to 30, three times of what it was during the month of May.
This included one high-risk contact of an earlier patient, who tested positive today. A pregnant woman, whose husband is a COVID-19 patient, tested positive for coronavirus at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences and the labour ward of the hospital has now been sealed.
According to the local news portal, her husband had tested positive a few days ago, and is currently undergoing treatment at Corona hospital (Shillong Civil Hospital). The couple returned from Delhi last week.
While other cases reported were of residents who recently returned from Delhi and Chennai, and have now been put under quarantine.
Authorities had earlier drafted a list of safety protocols for people visiting Churches and other religious places.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma met the top religious leaders in the state to discuss the matter.
He tweeted that the decision of withdrawing the order was taken after consulting different religious organisations.
Based on the consultation with different religious organisations this afternoon, the Govt has decided to put on hold the reopening of religious institutions in #Meghalaya that was previously decided for the 14th of June, 2020. pic.twitter.com/xRrduxEHAU— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) June 9, 2020
Many churches have issued statements, affirming that they were not keen on opening the doors anytime soon, as it could expose people to the risk of virus transmission.
Confirming the same, Unitarian Union of North East India president D P Pariat told the media that they will continue with online services until people feel safe to come to church.
As per the latest updates, the state has confirmed 30 cases, with 13 recoveries and one deceased.