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COVID-19: Arunachal on ‘lockdown’ from 5 pm tomorrow till Mar 31

No public transport permitted; all commercial establishments to be closed; congregation of over 10 people prohibited; anybody violating order to be prosecuted

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh government on Sunday announced that the entire state will be under a lockdown from 5 pm on Monday till March 31 to curb the spreading of the novel coronavirus disease.

Chief secretary Naresh Kumar, who announced this during a press briefing in Itanagar on Sunday evening, said that the step has been taken following the extensive spread of the virus around the globe and as a measure for combating its spread in the state.

He also reasoned that a large number of students studying outside the state are returning to the state in a daily basis so the chances of the virus spreading increases, though the state has not registered any positive case of COVID-19 so far.

“The government has decided that all districts shall impose shutdown of all establishments except essential items and services. All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops etc shall close their operations while no public transport services including operation of taxis, auto-rickshaws will be permitted during the shutdown,” the chief secretary said.

Kumar, however, said, that the exception will include transport of all kinds to and from hospitals, airport, helipads, railway station and goods carriers carrying food and essential commodities,

All the essential services and commodities and their supply chain, required transport logistics and other services to ensure smooth functioning of essential services and availability of essential commodities, courts and correctional services, health and related services, district administration, food and civil supplies and any such other government agencies on duty, police, armed forces and paramilitary forces, media, communication and internet services, banks and ATMs, postal services and emergency and disaster management services have been kept away from the purview of the lockdown.

Food including PDS, groceries, general provision stores, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, bread and milk, veterinary services, animal fodder including their storage and transportation, e-commerce establishments including home delivery, restaurants/eateries for take-aways or home delivery (no dine-in) would also be exempted from the lockdown along with medicine shops, optical stores, pharmaceutical manufacturing and their transportation.

Kumar said that people who come out to provide or avail essential services shall be allowed on their self-declaration, while any other essential services/establishments may be exempted by the deputy commissioners in their respective jurisdictions.

Any doubt as to whether an establishment is covered under this clause shall be decided by the respective deputy commissioner, the chief secretary said.

Further appealing the people to stay at home and support the government in its initiative, Kumar said any congregation of more than 10 persons shall be prohibited in public places during the lockdown.

Urging the people not to panic Kumar assured that the state has sufficient stock of essential commodities for at least 45 days.

“We urge the people to remain calm and not to resort to panic buying as all essential commodities are not restricted,” said Kumar while adding that senior officials have been deputed in each district as nodal officers to follow up the implementation of the lockdown.

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