A huge crowd gathered at an open market on Jail Road in Guwahati on Friday Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: After several pictures emerged on social media showing huge crowds in Guwahati’s Fancy Bazar and Jail road areas, disregarding the plea for social distancing amid coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Assam government on Friday decided to shut down all market areas, except grocery shops and pharmacies.

A press release issued by chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna on the instruction of CM Sarbananda Sonowal said grocery shops will also provide vegetables, fruits, eggs, gingers, garlic and water, etc.

The respective deputy commissioners have been told to organise for distribution of vegetables, etc, through mobile vans in all areas of their districts on alternate days. The DCs will also fix the time for opening of grocery shops as per local convenience.

“All meat, fish shops will remain closed till March 31. It will be reviewed on April 1, 2020,” added the release.

For deterring public gathering, the release said that those citizens who fail to maintain social distancing will be penalised under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

Contact numbers of State Control Room, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (in case of any kind of Emergency): 1070, 1079, 94010-44617 and 0361-2237219.

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