GUWAHATI: The Assam Government has appealed to the Muslim community in the State to celebrate the Eid-Ul-Zoha by offering namaz and performing other rituals by remaining at home given the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation. Eid will be celebrated on Wednesday (July 21).
Addressing a press conference here on Monday the Health & Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta said there was no Ambubachi Mela and Bol Bam in the State due to the Covid pandemic. Wishing Eid greetings in advance the Health Minister appealed to Muslims with folded hands to offer namaz at their homes.
"Only five persons will be allowed to offer Eid namaz at mosques," Mahanta said. A directive issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Monday also put restrictions on the celebration of Eid-Ul-Zoha.
Mahanta said the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be effective from 5 am on Tuesday has made Biswanath, Golaghat, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, and Sonitpur districts as total containment zones for showing high Covid positivity rate in recent days. He said there are 1956 positive cases in Golaghat followed by 1392 in Jorhat, 1265 in Lakhimpur and 1114 in Sonitpur in the last ten days. Grocery shops, fruits, vegetables, dairies, milk booths, animal fodder in these districts will remain open up to 5 pm.
"The situation in Biswanath has marginally improved. But since the district is situated in between Sonitpur and Lakhimpur we are not taking any risk by making some relaxation. So, Biswanath will remain a full containment zone," the Health Minister said, adding that there will be a total ban on the movement of all public and private transports in the total containment districts. However, the movement of goods shall continue.
Mahanta said Goalpara and Morigaon districts were earlier total containment zones. Since the situation in both districts has marginally improved the curfew will be in force from1 pm to 5 am. All kinds of shops will remain open till noon. But grocery shops will remain open till 5 pm in both districts.
In 27 districts namely Dhubri, Kamrup (Metro), South Salmara, Majuli, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Udalguri, West Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Charaideo, Hailakandi, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Nalbari, Baksa, Bajali, Kamrup, Darrang, Nagaon, Hojai, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Cachar, Karimganj and Karbi Anglong there will be a curfew from 5 pm to 5 am. Shops will remain open till 4 pm.
Mahanta said there are 356 containment zones and 7936 micro containment zones across Assam. He said the State Government has made it mandatory even for fully vaccinated (taken both doses) people to undergo Covid test airports and railway stations. He said there are instances when people even after taking two doses of vaccines have been infected by Covid. But Covid tests for fully vaccinated people at airports and railway stations will be free of cost. The people coming to Assam from the other NE States will also be tested at airports and railway stations since the Covid positivity rate in different parts of the region is increasing, the Minister said.
"The situation in Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Nagaon is not very good and we are closely monitoring the situation. We have noticed that there is an increase in the number of people attending marriages and funerals across the State. The public gathering has been banned in total containment districts. In other districts, up to 10 persons are allowed for marriage or funeral programmes. Magistrates and police will take actions in case of violation of rules in public functions," Mahanta said.
While inter-district transportation will remain suspended for the next one week, the Kamrup Metro district has recorded 2173 positive cases in the last ten days. He said maximum cases in Kamrup Metro has been detected among individuals at the airport, railway station and those who have come to the city for treatment. Positive cases among residents in Guwahati are comparatively low. Some cases have been detected among residents in Khetri and Sonapur.
Mahanta said his department has intensified testing and doubled vaccination drive in districts where positive cases are increasing. He said the new SOP will come into force from 5 am on Tuesday and continue for the next week.