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Social distancing & wearing of face masks go for a toss in Guwahati City

The few lockdown rules that have been kept unaltered while lifting a number of other rules in this phase

Social distancing

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 Aug 2020 2:38 AM GMT

Most of city buses ply with 50 per cent passengers but with scant regard to wearing of face masks

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The few lockdown rules that have been kept unaltered while lifting a number of other rules in this phase of unlock have also gone for a toss in Guwahati. The metropolitan city has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the State.

Barring a few activities the Assam Government lifted most of the lockdown restrictions from August 16 so as to revive the economy.

The lifting of most of the lockdown rules has made the city roads teeming with honking cars in all the major roads, from head to tail. The worst of the situation is that mandatory COVID-19 rules like maintaining social distancing and wearing of face mask have also not followed by many in the city.

Take the case of plying of city buses in Guwahati roads and inter-district movement of buses to and from Guwahati. It sounds pleasant that most of the city buses in Guwahati were seen operated with 50 per cent passengers so as to maintain the social distancing norm. The worse, however, is that some of the city bus passengers were sitting in the buses without wearing face masks, risking their own and others' lives. This is despite the fact that wearing of masks in public places has been made compulsory and any violation of this norm will invite a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first offence.

An order issued by State Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna on August 13 stated that all permitted activities would be allowed from 5 am to 9 pm from Monday to Friday. The timing of the night curfew is between 9.30 pm and 5 am. With offices, city buses and all business establishments being allowed to be operational, the social distancing norm has also gone for a toss. Pillion riding and people queuing up outside retail shops are seen to give scant regard to social distancing.

However, a sigh of relief during this period is that cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar other places of gathering are still closed. This is not all. Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, religious functions and other large congregations of more than 50 persons have also been prohibited. No activities are also allowed in containment zones and entry and exit from such zones are strictly prohibited. Persons above 65 years of age and children below the age of 10 have also been advised to stay indoors except for unavoidable health conditions.

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