COVID task force reactivated
GUWAHATI: The upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the Kamrup (M) district has kept the Health Department and the District Administration on their toes. And this has prompted the district administration to reactivate its COVID-19 task force.
Health Minister Keshab Mahanta had a joint meeting with the top officials of the Health Department and the District Administration. During the meeting, the Health Department asked the District Administration to enforce COVID-19 protocols strictly.
Each of the COVID-19 task force teams comprises a magistrate, besides police and district administration officials. Such teams take strict action against the people violating the COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said that the Health Department detected 1,701 new COVID-positive cases in the metropolitan district in the last seven days. "Earlier, infections were mostly from family members. However, now most of the infected persons have no family members carrying the virus. That's a serious matter as the virus is still spreading fast," he said.
The upsurge in the number of COVID-positive cases led the District Administration to appeal to the people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.
The fresh upsurge in COVID-positive cases in Guwahati has many reasons. The initial fall in the number of COVID-19 cases in the district made the district administration and the public adopt a relaxing mode. Even the police personnel on duty are not strict enough to enforce the COVID-19 rules. Nearly 50 per cent of people don't wear masks properly, keeping the nose and the mouth open. There is a ban on pillion riding, but the practice goes on right under the nose of police personnel. Shops have to down their shutters sharp at 4 pm, but they continue to sell till 4.30 pm. The roads in Guwahati still now teem with honking cars till 6 pm even though the curfew is from 5 pm.
According to the COVID-19 protocols, city buses should run with 50 per cent of passengers at enhanced fares. They charge enhanced fares but continue to carry more passengers than seating capacities. Even now people travel in buses by standing. The commuters also take it lightly to share adjacent seats with strangers in city buses. There is none – neither from the Transport Department nor from the police – to check this practice.
If all stakeholders – the district administration, the police and the public – don't take it seriously, total lockdown seems inevitable in the district.