Assam minority welfare minister Ranjit Dutta on Friday visited Lakhimpur district and took stock of the COVID19 situation and the lockdown.

The minister met the officials of the district administration, traders’ bodies along with the local MLAs at the deputy commissioner’s office in North Lakhimpur.

Ranjit Dutta is in charge of Lakhimpur district for COVID19 response.

Addressing the media after the meeting, minister Dutta said essential commodities like groceries were in stock in the district for the next 12 days and applauded the District Chambers of Commerce for their role in ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential commodities.

He announced that more vendors would be engaged by the district administration to supply food, vegetables, livestock and poultry among the people and to bring out local agricultural and fishery products from the villages for sale during the lockdown.

Minister Dutta also announced that people, who have not been included for PDS ration cards, would be provided 5 kg of rice.

He further added that works in embankments, MGNREGA and rural roads would start from April 20 by maintaining social distancing.

Dutta said activities in tea estates under Lakhimpur district have been started with 50 per cent of workers wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

He warned the reported irregularities in the distribution of cash amounts to the beneficiaries violating the COVID19 lockdown norms.

The Lakhimpur district authority also sent the body of a Tablighi Jamaat member from Barpeta, who died on Wednesday during quarantine at Laluk.

The body of 53-year-old Ali Hussain was sent to his home after his swab sample, sent to ICMR laboratory in Lahowal, found negative for COVID19 on Thursday.

The post-mortem report suggested that the person died of cardiac arrest.

Meanwhile, the Lakhimpur superintendent of police appealed to the people not to believe in infodemics – fake news and rumours – that have been spreading in the district in the wake detection of a COVID19 positive case.

Superintendent of police (SP) Rajveer Singh made this appeal while speaking to this correspondent in North Lakhimpur on Friday.

The return of some labourers from outside the district and their entry to their villages without informing the authorities had been attributed to the rumours and panic among public in some areas.

Singh said persons returning from outside have been put under quarantine in the district and appealed to the people not to panic for any rumours.

“The people should not believe rumours instead they should inform it to the nearest police station or the local Village Defence Party (VDP) and not to take law into their hands,” the SP said.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: farhana.ahmed777@gmail.com