The second oldest English daily of Northeast India The Shillong Times will be temporarily shut down for allegedly violating Covid-19 health protocols, the newspaper informed through their official Twitter handle.
The 75-year-old paper will not hit the stand from August 23. The Shillong Times statement said, “With deep regret we inform our readers that we are the only media house in the world to have fallen victim to COVID-19! After 75 years of service, we got the stick from the government for alleged violation of health protocol”.
The statement further said the administration has declared the office building and staff quarters as a containment area after three non-journalists tested COVID-19 positive.
According to sources, a machine operating employee, helper, and driver tested positive for the coronavirus infection. The three employees reportedly came in contact with employees of other departments of the broadsheet.
Initially, twenty employees underwent the tests. Later the Meghalaya government sought the list of the employees and by yesterday 70 employees took the test. Thereafter, some of the employees have been asked to be in-home quarantine while some have been asked to be institutionally quarantined.
Shillong Times Tiwtter note also said“Despite all the protocols being in place, an official order picked holes where there was none,” adding, “We will miss a beat each day that our voice remains stifled at the cruel hands of law that cannot even be challenged for a judicial remedy”.
It has been reported that the office will be presently closed for atleast two weeks as per COVID-19 protocols and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Meghalaya government. In this connection, further details are awaited.