Assam imposes fresh curbs to break COVID transmission chain
The Assam government on Tuesday issued new standard operating procedures (SOPs), restricting the number of attendees in educational institutions, offices, public functions and directing closure of all marketplaces by 6 pm.
Addressing newsmen here, state Chief Secretary, Jishnu Barua said the guidelines will be reviewed after three days.
“As of now, the situation is not as alarming. But if COVID cases rise alarmingly, we shall be compelled to revise the SOPs and impose a stricter set of guidelines to control the situation,” he said.
The new guidelines issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority have been put in place with immediate effect (April 20) till April 30, 2021.
According to the new rules, open functions will be allowed with the permission of the district authority, subject to strict adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour, including wearing face masks, maintaining respiratory etiquettes, practising hand hygiene through frequent hand washing or using hand sanitisers and maintain social distancing (6 feet).
“While granting such permission, the district authority will assess the public bearing capacity of the open space and allow gathering of only 50 per cent of its capacity or 400 persons, whichever is lower.
In closed venues, gatherings up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity will be allowed while standing audience in open/closed venues will not be allowed.
A maximum of 100 guests in private functions at private venues, including marriages, have been allowed, while not over 20 persons can attend funerals/ last rites of each deceased.
“Religious places/ places of worship should be allowed to be operated with 20 persons per hour, except iconic religious places, where it can be 50 persons per hour. However, if any religious place has a small area, the management committee shall reduce the number of attendees,” stated the directive.
The guidelines further stated that working from home and virtual working should be encouraged.
“Pregnant women employees and women with children of five years or below irrespective of their grade shall be allowed to work from home,” the SOPs read.
“All educational institutions, including schools/colleges/universities, must provide quality virtual options. Not over 50 per cent students should attend in person on any day,” the rules state.
The education department however will issue a detailed set of guidelines/SOP for uninterrupted education service keeping given the COVID-19 precautionary measures.
In fact, wearing face masks has been made compulsory in all public places.
“Barbershops, salons and parlours shall continue to provide service with strict compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Industrial units and tea gardens may function subject to observance of COVID appropriate behaviour,” it added.
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