In view of the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country and abroad, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on March 20th, 2020, announced that the government will start stamping suspect cases of COVID-19 with ‘Home quarantine’ at all airports, railway stations from March 22nd, 2020.
Sarma also directed all public and private companies to reduce their working staff to 50 per cent, except essential services. The Minister also appealed to the citizens to practice social distancing and maintain personal hygiene.
“As per the order, 50 per cent employees will work from home and 50 per cent will work from the office on a rotational basis. All examinations have also been cancelled in the state till March 31,” Sarma said.
It may be mentioned, the Centre on March 19th, 2020 ordered all departments and state-run firms to get 50 per cent of its Group B and C employees to work from home and introduced staggered timings for others.
As per the order issued by the Centre’s human resource manager, the Department of Personnel and Training, 50 per cent of Group B and Group C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50 per cent of staff should be instructed to work from home.
The Minister further informed that all 57 samples which were taken, were checked and found negative. There are four coronavirus testing labs in Assam.
“The government is monitoring crowded markets like Guwahati’s fancy Bazar. We will shut down such markets if the situation demands,” he added.
Sarma informed that 1000 people have been kept in-home quarantine.
“No positive cases in Assam till date. If any authority is found to be violating guidelines, strict action will be taken,” he said.
Sarma also announced a monetary relief of $2,000 for those residents who had travelled abroad from the state in the past 30 days and were now “stuck”.
An e-mail ID will be released by the Assam government in the next two days. The people of Assam stranded in abroad can apply for the financial assistance with a copy of their stamped passport.
“We will deposit $2,000 in their accounts. If someone’s VISA or passport has expired, they can inform us and we will take it up with the Indian embassy,” Sarma added.
The Health Minister also announced that all city buses will ply only with seated passengers. “No one is allowed to stand and travel as a precautionary measure against coronavirus,” he said.