Guwahati: Even as the Centre has begun an unlock phase after the extended lockdown, the Assam Government has again decided to clamp a stringent lockdown in Guwahati owing to a dramatic rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, making the announcement, said that this time around, the lockdown will be even stricter and even grocery stores will not be allowed to open. The services that will be kept open, as announced by the Minister, are as follows:
Hotels acting as quarantine centers will be open
Law enforcement officials' vehicles are allowed
Cable and broadcasting are allowed
Milk and baby food are allowed
Print and electronic media will be allowed
Transportation of essential goods is allowed
Fire services and water supply is allowed
Railways will be allowed
Although the recovery rate in the state has risen to 60.68% and the number of testings has increased to 3.5 lakh, Sarma has raised the alarm in regards to the rapidly rising number of cases in the city, where 762 people have tested positive for the contagion.
Sarma further said curfew will be clamped from 7 pm to 7 am. Earlier, the curfew was being observed from 9 pm onwards. Sarma said that people below the age of 40 years who do not wish to get tested, should stay indoors. "If you stay indoors for 14 days, the COVID will likely be cured itself", Sarma said, adding that the COVID Counselling Centers will be kept open, and people who wish to give samples for COVID testing will be allowed transit to the testing centers. "However, police will keep a strict vigil to check whether these people are actually going to the testing centers or going somewhere else."
"For the first 7 days, nothing will be open apart from pharmacies and hospitals. In areas under town committees and areas under municipalities, lockdown will be observed on Saturdays and Sundays as well. "This will likely go on till the end of the COVID pandemic", he informed.
Sarma also said that the construction of critical infrastructure projects will be allowed to continue. "However, the employees will have to be kept within a specific location by the contractors", Sarma said. The Minister also said that the Government will review the situation again next Friday.