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Total lockdown in Guwahati from midnight of June 28: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced a 14-day total lockdown in the entire jurisdiction of Kamrup (M)

Himanta Biswa Sarma

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 Jun 2020 1:01 AM GMT

Total cases 6,910; Active 2,660; Discharged 4,247; Death 10

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: With a view to checking community transmission of COVID-19, the State Health department has announced a 14-day total lockdown in the entire jurisdiction of Kamrup (M) from the midnight of June 28, and weekend lockdowns on every Saturday and Sunday from tomorrow in the town committee and municipal areas across all the other districts. The 12-hour curfew period has also been rescheduled from 7 pm to 7 am from this evening.

Addressing the media here on Friday, State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "We need to stop community transmission of the virus. We're compelled to make the announcement of the lockdown with pain. We're left with no other option but to impose a fresh lockdown in Kamrup (M) to check the community transmission of COVID-19. In the past ten days, as many as 677 corona positive cases without any travel or contact history have been detected in Guwahati.

"Corona cases have been rising fast in the metropolitan city. We're in the dark as to how many people have already been infected from these 677 corona positive people. Let the denizens of the city gauze the enormity of the corona problem.

"If corona-positive cases keep rising at this pace for the next four days, except the GMCH (Gauhati Medical College and Hospital) Guwahati, there will no bed left for corona patients. In such an eventuality, we'll have to take the corona patients of the metropolitan city to other districts. It takes at least 24 hours to take a corona patient to the hospital within Guwahati. If we're to take corona patients from Guwahati to the other districts, it will take much more time. This may also lead to rise in the COVID-19 toll.

"It's painful that not even 10 per cent people of Guwahati wear mask. Youths get into a huddle in the evening for no right reason. Most of the commercial establishments in the city don't follow the guidelines issued for them. All such wrong reasons do pose a serious corona threat to Guwahati.

"The first seven days of the lockdown in Guwahati will be very strict. All else will remain closed barring medical services, water supply, media services etc. All grocery shops, vegetable shops and others won't be allowed to operate. Banks will have to operate with skeleton staff, so will Secretariat and Directorate offices.

"During the lockdown, no vehicle from other districts of the State will be allowed to come to Guwahati or leave the city. To prevent community transmission of the virus from spreading to other urban areas in the State, weekend lockdown have been announced on Saturday and Sunday from tomorrow in town committee and municipal areas in other districts of the State. No such lockdown has been imposed in rural areas. However, there will be night curfew in rural areas as well. After seven days of the lockdown in Guwahati, we'll review the situation, and may announce some relaxations."

The Guidelines

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

1. Movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited in the specified area.

2. All Government Offices, Offices of Autonomous/subordinate offices and private offices shall remain closed.

3. All business/commercial establishments, shops and trade activities shall remain closed;

4. All Industrial establishments shall remain closed.

5. All public transport services shall remain suspended.

6. Movement of all Private vehicles is banned.

7. All hospitality services shall remain suspended.

8. All educational, research, training, coaching institutions shall remain closed.

9. All places of worship shall remain closed for public. No religious congregation will be permitted without any exception.

10. All social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions, gathering shall be barred.

11. Not more than 20 persons will be permitted in case of funerals;

12. All non-essential and avoidable movement of people shall be banned;

13. Spitting in public places is banned and will be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the local authority in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations.

14. Consumption and sale of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc., in public places are prohibited.

EXCEPTIONS

1. Defence, Central and State Police forces, establishments of the District Magistrates, Commissioner of Police, Home Guard, Civil Defence, Fire & Emergency Services, Disaster Management, Electricity, Water, Sanitation, Municipal bodies (only staff required for essential services like sanitation, water supply etc) will be allowed to function.

2. Hospitals and retail medical establishments;

3. Only 10 (ten) % of Bank branches in the districts with skeletal attendance and ATMs shall operate. Highest authority of the Banks shall determine the specific branches and give wide publicity of open bank branches;

4. Print and electronic media including newspaper distribution are allowed. However, it is advised that minimum number of persons shall only come out in the open;

5. Telecommunications, Internet services, broadcasting and cable services, IT and IT-enabled services to continue. However, personnel engaged in these services are allowed to work from home only. Only emergency repair crew would be allowed movement subject to prior permission/ pass from appropriate authority;

6. Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services shall continue with persons with specifically assigned duties being allowed to come out;

7. Transportation of essential goods, vehicles of Heath, Fire, Law & Order, and emergency services are allowed;

8. All transport services and movement of people from other districts shall remain suspended except that connected to COVID functions, inter-state movement shall also remain suspended except with prior permissions/ pass;

9. People (Inter-State and inter-district movement) holding train/ air tickets to and from Guwahati as well as to Guwahati shall be allowed to move only on production of such tickets at check points;

10. Hotels which are accommodating quarantined persons, medical and emergency staff, air crew shall operate with skeletal service;

11. Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities shall operate;

12. All officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above shall attend office in Assam Secretariat regularly. Other officers and employees shall be asked to attend office on need-based instruction issued by the senior-most secretary of the Department. Directors shall decide on the number of skeletal officers and staff to attend for functioning of Directorates.

13. Government officers end employees who are directed specifically by their Controlling Officers will only be allowed with documentary evidence of such permission/ orders. Rest of Government functionaries shall work from home. Only those Government officers and employees connected with the aforementioned exempted categories would be allowed to come to office/ workplaces.

14. Milk, baby food, medicines and water supply are allowed on specific areas and time;

15. Railway offices and persons directly linked with operation of passenger and goods trains shall be allowed to operate on being so assigned;

16. Continuous process industries would be allowed to function, subject to workforce staying in the premises and outwards/ inwards movement during the period of Iockdown shall not be allowed;

17. Only identified petrol pumps, gas agencies would be allowed to be operational during Lockdown. LPG agencies shall distribute products at home customers' homes only.

18. Petroleum products to other districts would be allowed to move through the highways;

19. Agricultural and tea garden activities shall continue with social distancing;

20. Lockdown permissions/ passes issued earlier stand cancelled. Fresh permissions/ passes shall have to be obtained from competent authority;

The Commissioner of Police/ District Magistrate of Kamrup Metropolitan shall very strictly enforce the above measures without any dilution as these measures are put in place to avoid dangers to a large group of public. These officers are at liberty to invoke other legal provisions to enforce strict lockdown on being so satisfied of necessity.

Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable.

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