Assam: Markets Shut, Inter-State Vehicles To Remain Off Roads Till Mar 31 Amid COVID-19 Scare

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An unprecedented shutdown commenced across Assam on March 23rd, 2020 as the Assam Chamber of Commerce called for a ‘Vyapar Bandh’ to help check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

All the shops, business establishments remained closed on March 23rd, 2020. The busy streets of Guwahati wore a deserted look as shutters remained down. A bare number of private transport vehicles plied on nearly empty roads in Guwahati.

After the successful commencement of ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22nd, 2020, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal appealed to the citizens remain in self-imposed curfew till 8 am of March 23rd, 2020 and stay indoors for next two weeks unless absolutely necessary.

As the ‘Janata curfew’ got underway at 7 am on March 23rd, 2020, people largely kept themselves indoor as part of the social distancing exercise to contain the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, all types of commercial vehicles, including buses and tempos, will remain off the roads in Assam till March 24th, 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, All Assam Motor Transport Association (AAMTA) said.

Around 20,000 vehicles are registered with AAMTA and it includes autorickshaws, tempos, four-wheeler carriers, buses and trucks.

On the other hand, in view to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, Assam transport Department has issued an order to prohibit all inter-state passenger vehicles (i.e. contract carriages, stage carriages, taxi cabs, maxi cabs) to and from Assam, to other States and Union Territories up to March 31st, 2020.

However, it will not be applicable to goods vehicles, personal vehicles, vehicles used for maintaining essential emergency services and vehicles on government duty.

Moreover, during the Janata Curfew on March 22nd, 2020, the Transport Department had made arrangements for facilitating the smooth movement of those passengers who arrived at the airports and railway stations by providing around 80 vehicles for transporting them to respective destinations.   

Arrangements are also being made at ISBT, Betkuchi, Guwahati for sending the passengers to other districts after 9 pm of March 22nd, 2020 after their proper screening by Health Department officials.

The government has also formed the District Level Task Force to control and contain the spread of coronavirus. No positive case of coronavirus has been detected in Assam so far.

The four-and-a-half-year girl child, who was suspected to have coronavirus infection, has tested negative in the second round of test on March 22nd, 2020. The initial test at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital on March 21st, 2020 had shown that the child had the infection.   

Photo: Time8

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