Guwahati: In its latest set of lockdown relaxations, the Assam Government has allowed inter-district travel on the Mondays and Tuesdays of each week.
Making this announcement during a press conference earlier today, Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that this new rule will be in effect at least until August 15, when a newer set of rules is expected to come into play.
This follows after the Assam Government had allowed passengers to undertake inter-district voyages on July 30 and 31 owing to the Id-ul-Adha celebrations.
However, strict guidelines have been put in place for both the passengers as well as the people plying the buses. For instance, the buses have only been allowed to fill 50% of the seats. Additionally, the Government has dictated that all buses should carry sanitizers, thermal screeners, etc, to meet the demands of a post-COVID-19 world.
Earlier, the Government had placed a complete ban on the inter-district travel of passengers from July 22 owing to the sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. This ban came about at a time when the state was witnessing a steep jump of the COVID-19 bump and lockdowns had been imposed in several parts of the state as a measure to contain the outbreak of the viral disease.
Although the Centre has sought to "unlock" the country by lifting the curbs in phases, the Assam Government has opted to persist with the lockdown regulations till August 15 to ensure that there isn't another spike in the number of cases.
Sarma has earlier opined that the lockdown restrictions will continue in Assam till August 15, despite the Centre's appeal to unlock the nation in phases. He said that the state Government will alternate between lock-unlock until the threat of the virus is thwarted for good. The Central Government has also lifted the nationwide curfews as the economic activities are being brought back on track.
However, the curfews are still being imposed across Assam as a measure to contain the outbreak of the virus. Meanwhile, the tally in Assam has risen to 40,269 after the detection of 1,862 more coronavirus cases on Friday, July 31.
Of these, Kamrup (M) reported the highest number of cases with 281 infections. On the same day, 1,277 people were discharged from hospitals across the state after recovering from the contagious disease.