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COVID-19: Assam Govt Releases Stringent Guidelines for Citizens, Daily Market to Close by 6 PM

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in market places, bus-stands etc. maintaining all protocols of COVID-19, the following advisories are to be followed strictly.

COVID-19: Assam Govt Releases Stringent Guidelines for Citizens, Daily Market to Close by 6 PM

Sentinel Digital Desk

GUWAHATI: Amid the gradual increase in COVID-19 cases and in order to bring into control the pandemic the Assam government has issued new guidelines and in which all the grocery shops, shopping malls shall remain closed from 6 PM onwards starting April 20.

And whereas , it is felt that in order to contain the fast spread of the virus, additional prohibition/restrictions on certain activities need to be imposed, except essential and emergency activities/services, as an emergency measure for well being and safety of the people. Read more

Now, therefore in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 22(2)(h) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the undersigned. in his capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management Authority, Assam, hereby issues directives as follows which shall come in force with immediate effect and remain in force till 30 April 2021.

The new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)s issued by the government are:

A. Gatherings

  1. Open functions to be allowed with the permission of the District Authority subject to strict adherence to COVID appropriate behavior, including wearing a face mask, maintaining respiratory etiquette, practicing hand hygiene through frequent hand washing or hand sanitizers and maintain social distancing (6 feet). While granting such permission. District Authority will assess the public bearing capacity of the open space and allow gathering of only 50% of its capacity or 400 persons, whichever is lower.
  2. In Closed venues, gatherings up to 50% of the seating capacity to be allowed.
  3. No standing audience shall be allowed in open/ closed venues.
  4. The number of guests in Private functions at private venues including marriages to be restricted to 100 persons.
  5. Funeral / last rites-related gatherings should ensure not more than 20 persons for each deceased.
  6. Religious places/ places of worship should be allowed to be operated with 20 persons per hour. except for the iconic religious places where it can be 50 persons per hour. However. if any religious place has only a small area. the management committee of such religious institution shall reduce the number of attendees accordingly.
  7. All Market places I supermarkets I shops in the Malls I weekly market should be closed by 6.00 PM.

B. Work Places (Government and Private)

  1. Working from home and virtual working should be encouraged.
  2. Except officers, only 50% of employees can work from the office. However, this will not be applicable for organizations rendering Essential/Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Services, and Election work.
  3. Meetings in the official chambers to be discouraged.
  4. Pregnant women employees and women with children of 5 years or below irrespective of their grade shall be allowed to work from home.
  5. Social distancing at workplaces should be ensured through adequate gaps between shifts, staggering of lunch breaks of staff etc.
  6. Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash, and sanitizer be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. In addition, sufficient quantities of handwash and sanitizer should be made available in the workplaces.
  7. Frequent sanitization of the entire workplace, common facilities, and all points which come into human contact should be carried out.

C. Educational Institutions (Government and Private)

  1. All Educational Institutions including Schools/Colleges/Universities must provide quality virtual options.
  2. Not more than 50% of students should attend in person on any day.
  3. Schools should stagger class timings so that large scale release of students doesn't arise.
  4. There will be no morning assembly/special assembly etc. in the educational institutions.
  5. Preference to be given on online mode of teaching for primary classes.
  6. Education Department will issue detailed guidelines/SOP for uninterrupted education service keeping in view of the COVID-19 precautionary measures.

D. Public Transport (Government and Private)

  1. All Public transport authorities shall enforce COVID-19 appropriate behavior and seating inside the vehicles, carriers, containers etc.
  2. Auto Rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers maintaining social distancing.
  3. City buses, Intra-district, Inter-district and Inter-state ·buses will be allowed to operate with 50% of seating capacity.
  4. No passenger shall be allowed to travel standing in the vehicle.
  5. Wearing of mask and observance of COVID-19 appropriate behavior will be mandatory for all passengers.

E. Miscellaneous

  1. Wearing of face mask is compulsory in all public places
  2. Shop owners shall ensure minimum six feet distance among customers and shall not allow more than 5 persons inside the shop. In addition, shop owners should compulsorily keep sanitizers and hand wash in their shops.
  3. Shopkeepers and customers shall have to wear masks, hand gloves and maintain social distancing. Responsibility of maintenance of social distancing will be on the shop owner and failure to do so will be viewed very seriously and may entail summary closure of defaulting shops.
  4. Barbershops, salons, and parlors shall continue to provide service with strict compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behavior such as wearing face masks. face cover hand gloves.
  5. Industrial units and Tea gardens may function as subject to the observance of COVID appropriate behavior. The Head of the tea garden shall be responsible for ensuring social distancing mask-wearing by workers and staff, sanitization of industrial premises, thermal scanning etc.
  6. Following Advisories earlier issued by ASDMA shall be strictly enforced
    1. Advisory for Daily & Weekly Markets/ Haat-Bazaars issued vide Order No.ASDMA.20/2020/Pt./21 7dt.14.07 2020 (Annexure-1)
    2. Advisory for Engagement of Domestic Help issued vide Order No.ASDMA. 20/2020/Pt./187 dt. 20.05.2020 (Annexure-11)
    3. Advisory for Apartment Societies for COVID-19 prevention issued vide Order No.ASDMA.23/2020/03 dt. 27.03.2020 (Annexure-111)
    4. Advisory for elderly people issued vide Order No.ASDMA.23/2020/08 dt. 31.03.2020 (Annexure-IV)

F. Penal Provisions:-

  1. Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.
  2. Any person not wearing face mask and/ or spitting in public places shall be fined to the tune of Rs.1000/- vide ASDMA 's earlier Order No. ASDMA/24/2020/Part-1 /122 dt 14/1012020 which can be imposed by District wise Task Force comprising of District Disaster Management Authority, Magistracy, Police Enforcement wing of District Transport Officer and Enforcement wing of Guwahati Municipal Corporation in their respective jurisdictions.

Deputy Commissioners will enforce the aforesaid order strictly and effectively for those districts where the number of active COVID-19 patients rises to 100 or more.


ADVISORY FOR DAILY & WEEKLY MARKETS / HAAT-BAZAARS

In order to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in market places, bus stands, etc. maintaining all protocols of COVID-19, the following advisories are to be followed strictly. District Administration, CEO, Zilla Parishad, Chairman, Municipal Boards will ensure the strict implementation of advisory by the Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee. Advisory to be followed by Lessee while administering a daily /weekly market:

  1. The Market committee / Local administration I Lessee will follow orders issued by the State Govt./ District Administration regarding date and time of opening and closing of the marketplace including lockdown orders and restrictive orders issued by Govt. of Assam from time to time.
  2. The Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee will ensure sanitization of the market place before opening and after closing of the market/bazaar on daily basis.
  3. The Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee will make necessary arrangements for announcement through public meeting market place regarding the advisory to be followed at the "entry" and "exit" of the marketplace.
  4. The Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee will ensure pre-positioning of display board on relevant advisories in the "Entry" and "Exit" of the marketplace.
  5. The Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee may restrict the entry of customers in large congregations at a time. Batch-wise entry into the market the place may be allowed and tokens/ time cards may be issued to each batch entering the market.
  6. The distance between each shop or street vendor should not be less than 2 meters.Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the marketplace.
  7. Advisory on Entry and exit into the market place/haat-bazaar should be adhered to by the public
  8. The Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee will ensure deployment of volunteers at appropriate locations (including entry and exit) of market places to guide general public I customers on social distancing norms etc.
  9. Install handwashing points in conspicuous places and keep sufficient hand-wash.
  10. Impose fine in case of any violations regarding spitting etc.

Advisory for "Entry" into the market place:

  1. Only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed in the marketplace.
  2. People should wash their hands with soap and water before entering the market place or sanitize hands using hand sanitizers installed by market committee/ local administration/ lessee.
  3. Posters/ standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and Video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 should be regularly played at selective locations.
  4. The customers I general public entering the marketplace will ensure the compulsory wearing of masks. Fine may be imposed if necessary,for any violations.
  5. Strict adherence of social distancing norms will be maintained and a 1 meter distance will be maintained amongst the general public/ customers. The customers are advised to stand in queue and maintain a 1 meter distance amongst them.
  6. Use of Polythene/ Plastic bags in the market place is prohibited. People should carry cloth bags or baskets for shopping of essentials items/ groceries/ vegetables etc.
  7. Disposal of face masks in a public places in market areas shall be strictly prohibited.
  8. Spitting in the market place I public space shall be strictly prohibited.
  9. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.
  10. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
  11. All vendors/ shopkeepers will compulsorily use face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The notes and coins should be sanitized using alcohol-based sanitizer before handing over exchange notes /coins to the customer. The vendors/ shopkeepers will compulsorily wear hand gloves.

Advisory for "Exit" from the market place:

  1. Token/ time card will be handed over to person assigned by Market committee/ Local administration/ Lessee at the exit.
  2. Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the market area - duly following social distancing norms shall be organized.
  3. Closed dustbins should be installed at appropriate locations outside market place for disposal of face masks and hand gloves.
  4. Toilets as per size of the market should be installed at appropriate location.
  5. Hygiene should be ensured in toilets.
  6. Devise a proper mechanism for waste disposal specifically waste generated due to vegetable waste, garbage etc.

(N.B: 1.This advisory will be applicable on re-opening of daily & weekly markets /hoot-bazaars or as per orders issued by Govt. of Assam for the opening of markets/ bazaars

2. In case of non-compliance of the orders, penalty will be imposed u/s 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 besides legal action under Section 188of the /PC)

REVISED ADVISORY FOR ENGAGEMENT OF DOMESTIC HELP

  1. Teach your house help/ domestic help about COVID 19: What the virus is, how it spreads and the precaution to be taken.
  2. Check for orders from local authorities- Police station/ D.C office/Circle Office, if your houseis located In Containment zone. In containment zones the household may not be able to engage domestic helpor if domestic helpstays in containment zone, he/she may not beallowed to work. But even if you don't take their services during this period, it is advised that their wage should not be deducted for this period.
  3. He/she should sanitise properly before enteringthe house.Keep soap and water handy at the entrance.
  4. He/she should wear face mask at all times.
  5. Ask him/her to wash their hand/sanitise every time you send them out for essential items.
  6. When they are sent to buy essential items they should wear proper masks, plastic washable slippers, and a sanitizer (to use in case if she/he touches anything suspicious in the market/shop.
  7. Instruct the house to help to maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet from others.
  8. Try to keep away the material from your body when carrying it from the market. It is better to have a plastic basket/bucket with you when going to the market. Put the material n bucket and carry it to your home.
  9. Tender exact money for the products purchased. In case you pay more and the remaining is returned by the shop keeper, currency notes/coins given by shopkeepers/vendors.
  10. If you have full-time house help, ask him/her to wash her/his hand thoroughly and frequently with soap and running water throughout the day.
  11. Maintain physical distancing (6 feet) with domestic help. Don't stay close to him/her at the time for giving Instructions.
  12. If he/she shows any symptom(s) of COVID-19,s/he should be asked to isolate/home quarantine.
  13. If he/she shows any symptom ofCOVID-19, s/he should be taken for testing and medical check­ up immediately. Provide him/her with the necessary support for getting medical help Immediately.
  14. He/she should be advised to refrain from the consumption of Betel-nut, Gutkha, Tobacco, Alcoholic beverages or any other such intoxicating substances.
  15. He/she should be advised to wash hands with soap and water or sanitize hands with sanitizer before coming in contact with elderly persons or children at home.
  16. He/she shall ensure personal hygiene at all times
  17. If he/she is suffering from other chronic illness should be taken to nearest health center for treatment and allowed to take rest

Advisory for Apartment Societies for COVID-19 prevention

  1. Enact preventive measures-
    1. Visitors protocol- All Apartment Societies shall enforce a visitors' protocol limiting access of outsid1e visitors to the apartment. Full details of the visitors shall be maintained, and details shall be entered by any person managing the entrance (security/other arrangement} including travel history if any.
    2. Hand Washing- Each apartment society shall enforce hand washing at the time of entry for all types of visitors and even for the families residing within when they come from outside. Hand washing bay/basin with soap and liquid as well as a poster showing appropriate steps to wash hands shall be placed at the entrance and should be strictly ensured. If sanitizers are available,they can also be provided for use in the entrance
    3. Shutting down common activities where gathering occurs- All apartment societies shall ensure that any public gathering platform be it park, swimming pool, fitness centers, common activity centers are closed, and no gathering of people is allowed within the apartment premises. The Apartment Societies shall refrain from organizing any community event, religious events or any other event that may require gathering of more than five people at a time.
    4. Frequent cleaning of common premises- The Apartment Societies shall also implement cleaning and disinfection measures at least three times a day particularly for lift buttons, handrails in the staircases,gates and grills and all other such areas within the apartment. As far as possible instruction should be given to visitors to avoid touching anything in the common premises.
    5. Mechanism for contactless delivery- The Apartment Society shall take measures to ensure contact less delivery by placing delivery baskets at the security points. Or the families should be asked pick up deliveries outside the gate. Necessary disinfection should be carried out for any packet received.
    6. Domestic help- The Apartment Society shall consider discussing with all resident families to give mandatory leave with pay to domestic help who work at multiple locations (except those who are staying within the apartment}
  2. Ensuring stricter implementation of Home Quarantine- The managing committee shall collect all relevant information about the health, travel location and duration of all the residents. If any resident has a travel history to COVID affected places or are being advised for self-quarantine,the management the committee shall ensure the same while also maintaining the confidentiality and not hurting/disrespecting the self-respect of such residents. Further, if any person is being asked for self-quarantine,the management society may consider
    1. Supporting the home-quarantined person in accessing daily necessities such as groceries, medicines etc.
    2. Shall provide necessary psycho-social support while maintaining all infection control protocols

Monitor and restrict any discriminatory practice that may hurt the self-esteem of the individual.

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