Guwahati: Assam’s health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said that a 14-day total lockdown will be in force in Kamrup metro district from Sunday midnight till July 12.
Sarma said, “Though decisions are painful, we are left with no options except imposing the total lockdown. It will hamper the economic activities of the people of Assam. But we have to take some tough decisions to save the lives of the people.”
The minister stressed that during the total lockdown period, except pharmacy, laboratory and hospitals, nothing will be relaxed. “Movement of all individuals shall remain strictly prohibited in the specified areas of the residences,” he said.
Sarma further said, “All government offices, autonomous and subordinate offices and private offices will remain closed. All business, commercial establishments, shops, trade activities and other industrial establishments shall remain closed. No public and private buses and other personal vehicles will be allowed to ply. Hospitality services, education and religious institutions will remain closed.”
According to Sarma, this time, except persons on Covid-19 duty and flood, nobody will be issued passes for movement. No department and officers are strengthened to issue passes for movement.
All social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural and religious function will remain restricted during the total lockdown. More than 20 persons will not be allowed to attend cremation.
Defense, central and state police forces, district magistrate, commissioner of police, home guards, fire, electricity, disaster management, and municipal bodies will be exempted from restriction. Bank will remain functional with limited staffs. ATM will remain open. No restriction on media, both print and electronic media, power generation and telecommunication.
Vehicles of health, fire, essential goods, law and order and emergency services will be allowed to fly. Hotels specified as quarantine centres, Covid front liners and flight crew will be exempted. Offices of the state Secretariat and Directorates will remain open with skeleton staffs. Milk baby foods, water supply, railway and air services will remain open.
The Minister, however, said there will be certain relaxations after the first week of the total lockdown.
Highlighting that there are 31 Covid-Care centres in various parts of the state, Sarma said, “People can visit to provide samples to these centres Covid-Care centres.”
Moreover, curfew from 7pm to 7am will remain in force from today itself across the state.
Presently, there are 762 Covid-19 positive cases in Guwahati since June 15. Sarma said, “677 cases were detected without any significant travel history.”
Expressing concern over the growing numbers, he said, “We have collected samples of more than 10617 in Guwahati. Highest numbers of cases are coming out from Guwahati alone. Nearing to 50% of the total positive cases detected per day in the state are from Guwahati alone.”
The Minister added, “As of today there are 890 beds in various hospitals in Guwahati. If the number of positive cases raises 200 daily on an average, the number of hospital beds will be exhausted within the next four days. In that case, we have to transfer the patients from Guwahati to other towns.”