Guwahati: Shying away from ordering a total lockdown in Assam in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases, the state government on Wednesday ordered to shut all offices, religious places and weekly markets for 15 days in urban and semi-urban areas of the state, besides banning the movement of people from 2 pm to 5 am.

Issuing a new set of guidelines for the urban and semi-urban places in the periphery of 5 km of municipal areas, Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua said all standalone shops and commercial establishments shall shut down at 1 pm on all days.

“Complete lockdown of Assam is an option, but we are going gradually in a phased manner. We hope these measures will work in the next two-three days,” he said.

The new restrictions will come into effect from Thursday.

As per the restrictions notified by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), weekly haats, bazaars, educational institutions and all government and private offices have been ordered to be on lockdown for the next 15 days.

“Government officers of deputy secretary and above rank and senior executive in private sector along with their key support staff will be allowed to attend office upto 1 pm only for emergency and essential works,” the order stated.

However, these COVID-19 restrictions will not be applicable for organisations rendering essential and emergency services, law enforcement services and election works in Assam.

“All religious places shall remain closed for 15 days… Funeral/last rites related gatherings shall not be more than 10 persons,” the order said.

Likewise, weddings and religious functions will be only private affairs and be allowed with the presence of a maximum of 10 persons and no reception parties will be allowed post or pre wedding.

“In case the test positivity of COVID-19 in any area reaches five per cent or more in the last one week, District Magistrate will notify such areas as containment zone and ensure necessary containment measures for COVID-19,” the ASDMA said.

All public transport will be allowed with 30 per cent of seating capacity, while auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers only.

“Pillion riding will be totally prohibited in two-wheelers except with women and children.

“All vehicles other than government vehicles will be allowed to ply in accordance with an odd-even formula to be decided by the jurisdictional district disaster management authority between 5 am to 2 pm,” the order stated.

Also Read | Assam announces new measures to tackle COVID-19 surge

ASDMA further said that there shall be a total ban on the movement of individuals from 2 pm to 5 am daily.

For the rest of the state, all restrictions announced earlier such as night curfew from 6 pm to 5 am with total ban on movement of persons at public places on all days will continue, except for those engaged in essential and emergency services.

When asked why the government is not considering imposing a complete lockdown in Assam, Barua said that any such drastic measures adversely affect the poor people and that will be considered as the last resort.

Director-General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said the police will implement the restrictions very strictly if the people do not follow them.

“If we see people crowding at any place, say in front of a permitted shop, police will be ruthless. We will use force and lathi-charge them. You may go and file cases against us, but we don’t care.

“If someone organises any function secretly at home and invites people, then it will be considered as cheating and betrayal. We will not only file a case under Disaster Management Act, but also lodge an attempt to murder case,” Mahanta said.

Check details of the limited Assam lockdown restrictions here:

  1. All shops and commercial establishments shall shut down at 1 PM on all days
  2. Weekly haats and bazaars shall not be allowed for 15 days
  3. Restaurants, Dhabas and other eateries can entertain dine-in guest only up to 1 PM after which only home delivery of food will be allowed
  4. Restaurants operating within a Hotel or Resort can allow outside guests up to 1 PM only after which only in-house guests of the Hotel/Resort may be given room service.
  5. Delivery of essential goodsthrough e-Commerce may continue with observance of COVID appropriate behavior.
  6. Cold storages and warehouses may continue after 1PM However, sale counters, showrooms etc. attached to these warehouses or cold storages shall not operate after 1PM
  7. Pharmacies, Hospitals, Animal Care Centres and Veterinary clinics may operate without restrictions being providers of essential and emergency services.
  8. All Educational Institutions including Schools/Colleges/Universities must provide quality virtual options. No physical classes shall be allowed for 15 days.
  9. All offices both Government and Non-Government shall shut down for 15 days.
  10. Government/semi government officers in the rank of Deputy Secretary and above and senior executives in Non-Government sector along with their key support staff will be allowed to attend office upto 1 pm only for emergency and essential work.
    However, 9 and 10 above will not be applicable for organizations rendering Essential. Emergency services, law enforcement services and election work.
  11. In case the test positivity of COVID-19 in any area reaches 5% or more in the last one week, District Magistrate will notify such areas as containment zone and ensure necessary containment measures for COVID-19 as envisaged in MoHFW, Gol advisory dated 251h Apri1,2021 annexed with MHA order dated 291h Apri1,2021 (Annexure-A).
  12. Marriages and religious functions will be only private affairs and be allowed with presence of maximum of 10 (ten) persons. No reception parties will be allowed post or pre-marriage.
  13. Funeral / last rites related gatherings shall not be more than 10 persons
  14. All Religious places shall remain closed for 15 days. However, the religious head of a religious place or his representative may perform minimal religious rituals/prayers
  15. All public transport will be allowed to operate only upto 30% of seating capacity.
  16. Auto Rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers.
  17. Pillion riding will be totally prohibited in two wheelers, except with women and children.
  18. All vehicles other than government vehicles will be allowed to ply in accordance with an odd- even formula to be decided by the jurisdictional District Disaster Management Authority between 5AM to 2PM. However, this restriction shall not apply to personal vehicles used for medical emergencies.
  19. There shall be total ban on movement of individuals from 2 PM to 5 AM daily, except for exemptions specified in Order No ASOMA 28/2021/63 dated 4th May, 2021.
  20. In respect of areas not covered by this order, the regulations given vide order No. ASDMA.28/2021/63 dated 41h May, 2021 shall remain in force.

With PTI



Latest Stories

Leave a comment

Leave a comment