Section 144 of CrPC has also been imposed in Shillong since Friday midnight amid virus scare. (File)
Ahead of Sunday's nationwide 'Janata curfew', Meghalaya went into a complete lockdown today with markets, offices, commercial establishments and public transport shut for 24 hours as a preventive measure to check the spread of COVID-19.
The state government, however, insisted that it shouldn't be taken as a lockdown, instead it should be seen as 'Coronavirus awareness day'.
"This is not just a lockdown, this should be seen as Coronavirus awareness day where everyone is spreading awareness about the Coronavirus pandemic by staying indoors, postponing their work and social distancing," said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
The Meghalaya government has also released a music video song 'Stop Corona', sung by a group of children. The song, which has now gone viral on social media, is said to be the brainchild of Chief Minister Sangma.
Section 144 of CrPC has also been imposed in Shillong since Friday midnight in view of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, according to sources.
The state has not reported any COVID- 19 positive cases so far.
The shutdown order, however, wasn't applicable to security forces and medical teams on duty.
The lockdown order has been issued to ensure social distancing, in line with the advisories issued by the health department.
"All public transport will stay off the roads and operations will remain suspended at markets and commercial establishments. Assembly of five or more people in public areas has also been prohibited," East Khasi Hills District Magistrate MW Nongbri stated in a statement.
Tourist spots across the state have been shut and inbound visitors were asked to observe mandatory self-quarantine for two weeks.
Local authorities in other districts have also been asked by the government to issue shutdown orders on weekly markets until further orders.
Churches and mosques, too, have been asked to shut their doors at least till March 31 to avoid mass gatherings, a senior home department official said.