Lockdown prospect looms over specific areas in 9 Assam districts

The Assam Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and a decision on the restrictions in these nine districts is likely to be made during the deliberations.
From Our Correspondent


Specific areas of nine districts of Assam reporting a higher incidence of daily COVID-19 cases than other areas are likely to face ‘lockdown’.

Assam health minister Keshab Mahanta informed newsmen on Monday that apart from the five ‘red’ districts, four more districts of Jorhat, Golaghat, Morigaon and Biswanath, have been witnessing a surge in COVID infections.

Five ‘red’ districts of Nagaon, Sonitpur Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Cachar, where cases have increased of late, have been under the scanner since the past one week.

“The health department has gathered all facts and details on the COVID situation, which will be presented before the chief minister. A decision on the likely restrictions to be imposed in these nine districts will be taken by the chief minister in the next couple of days,” Mahanta said.

The Assam Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and a decision on the restrictions in these nine districts is likely to be made during the deliberations.

The health minister however informed that the lockdown could be announced only in specific areas of the districts where the surge has been witnessed and not the entire district as such.

The Assam government on Monday issued fresh standard operating procedures (SOPs) in view of COVID-19, similar to the guidelines issued a week back.

“The situation of COVID-19 in the state has been reviewed and observed that, though the number of COVID-19 patients and positivity rate is declining in some districts, the overall situation is still precarious,” the order issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.

The new SOPs will remain in effect from 5 am of June 22 until further orders.

According to the new SOPs, curfew remains relaxed by four hours in eight districts where COVID-19 positive cases had come down drastically.

The districts are Chirang, Udalguri, West Karbi Anglong, Bongaigaon, Majuli, Dima Hasao, South Salmara and Charaideo, where curfew has been relaxed from 5 am to 5 pm every day.

Shops and commercial establishments in these eight districts will remain open till 4 pm, from Wednesday.

In Kamrup Metropolitan district, which has seen a substantial slide in the COVID positivity rate as well, curfew remains relaxed by an hour. Accordingly, movement of people in Guwahati has been allowed from 5 am to 2 pm while shops/commercial establishments shall be allowed to stay open till 1 pm. 

However, in the remaining districts, the previous curfew timing (from 1 pm to 5 am) shall remain effective. 

All inter-district transport services and movement of people to and from other districts will remain suspended until further orders. 

All government and private employees who have been administered both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have to attend office mandatorily.

“All educational institutions including schools/colleges/universities shall continue to provide virtual options. No physical classes are allowed,” the guidelines issued by ASDMA on Monday stated.

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