Five districts of Assam to remain under complete lockdown
Five districts of Assam will continue to be under total lockdown owing to their high COVID-19 positivity rate while the movement of people to and from other districts across the state will remain suspended, state Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Monday. There will be a round-the-clock curfew in these five districts. Here are more details.
Seven districts were declared total containment zones on July 7
The five districts Jorhat, Golaghat, Sonitpur, Biswanath, and Lakhimpur - along with Goalpara and Morigaon districts were declared as total containment zones on July 7 for showing a high COVID-19 positivity rate. "While the restrictions have been partially relaxed in Goalpara and Morigaon due to a slight improvement in the situation, the other five districts will continue to be under complete lockdown," Mahanta informed.
Curfew timings in other districts of Assam
"However, in the districts showing moderate positivity rate, namely Goalpara and Morigaon, curfew will be from 1:00 pm to 5:00 am," Mahanta informed. "In the rest of the districts in Assam, which are showing improvement in the COVID-19 positivity rate and COVID-19 caseload, curfew will be imposed from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am," the minister said.
COVID-19 guidelines for workplaces, restaurants, eateries, commercial establishments, shops
"All workplaces, business or commercial establishments, shops, restaurants, dhabas, eateries, showrooms of cold storage, among others, can remain open up to noon in districts with moderate positivity, and up to 4 pm in districts showing improvement," Mahanta informed.
Inter-district passenger transport services to remain suspended
"Shops dealing with groceries, fruits, and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, animal fodder will be open up to 5:00 pm in districts showing high and moderate positivity and up to 4:00 pm in the districts showing improvement," Mahanta said. He further informed that all inter-district passenger transport services and movement of people to and from other districts will remain suspended.
Movement of goods will be allowed in total containment districts
"However, movement of goods will be allowed in total containment districts. In other districts, public transport will be allowed but authorities must enforce COVID-19 appropriate behavior," Mahanta notified. "While the public gathering is banned in total containment districts, up to 10 persons will be allowed in marriage or funeral events in the other districts," the minister said.
New directives to come into force from 5:00 am today
Mahanta said, "Other restrictions and COVID-appropriate behavior, including wearing face masks, the odd-even formula for plying of vehicles, as notified earlier will remain in force." The minister said the new directives will come into force from 5:00 am on Tuesday and will remain in force until further orders. On Monday, the state recorded 1,329 COVID-19 cases, thus pushing the state COVID-19 cases to 5,47,283.
Mizoram, Sikkim also scaled up COVID-19 restrictions last week
Notably, in another northeast state, Mizoram, the state government imposed a seven-day complete lockdown in Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases. The shutdown came into force from July 18 till midnight of July 24. Similarly, the Sikkim government on Thursday imposed a ban on all socio-religious and entertainment-related activities for a month due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
PM, Health Ministry flagged concerns over Northeast region's COVID-19 cases
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Health Ministry had raised concerns over the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases in the northeast states of the country. The ministry stated that northeast states are reporting more than 10% of the COVID-19 positivity rate.