Guwahati: In a bid to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that those roaming outside without wearing a mask will be fined Rs 500 under section 3 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.

Addressing a press meet in Guwahati, the minister clarified that mask doesn’t mean one needs to buy a readymade mask, but people can cover their mouth and nose with a gamosa (traditional Assamese towel) or handkerchief.

Further, Sarma said that for people visiting shops etc also have to wear face masks, and shop owners must ensure that. Otherwise, the shop will be quarantined for 28 days.

Also, after a returnee from Ajmer, Rajasthan tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, following which several areas in Cachar district had to be declared as precautionary containment zones, the government has made it mandatory for all persons who have returned from red zones to be put in institutional quarantine for at least three days.

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