In view of the surge in COVID19 positive cases, the Assam government on Tuesday issued fresh guidelines which will remain effective till April 30, 2021.

This was informed by Assam chief secretary Jishnu Baruah during a press conference at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati.

In an order issued on Tuesday (April 20, 2021), Assam chief secretary Jishnu Baruah said “in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 22(2)(h) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005” he issued fresh directives which shall come in force “with immediate effect and remain in force till April 30,2021”.

The chief secretary said the situation will be reviewed and measures will be taken later accordingly.

The directives have been issued after a review of the situation of COVID19 in Assam. After review of the situation, “it has been observed that there is a gradual increase in COVID-19 positive cases”.

It is felt that in order to contain the fast spread of virus, additional prohibition/restrictions on certain activities need to be imposed, except essential and emergency activities/services, as an emergency measure for well-being and safety of the people, the chief secretary said.

COVID19 CURBS IMPOSED BY ASSAM GOVERNMENT:

A. Gatherings:

1. Open functions to be allowed with the permission of the District Authority subject to strict adherence to COVID appropriate behavior, including wearing face mask, maintaining respiratory etiquette, practicing hand hygiene through frequent hand washing or hand sanitizers and maintain social distancing (6 feet). While granting such permission, District Authority will assess the public bearing capacity of the open space and allow gathering of only 50% of its capacity or 400 persons, whichever is lower.

2. In Closed venues, gatherings up to 50% of the seating capacity to be allowed.

3. No standing audience shall be allowed in open/ closed venues.

4. Number of guests in Private functions at private venues including marriages to be restricted to 100 persons.

5. Funeral/last rites related gatherings should ensure not more than 20 persons for each deceased.

6. Religious places/ places of worship should be allowed to be operated with 20 persons per hour, except the iconic religious places where it can be 50 persons per hour. However, if any religious place has only a small area, the management committee of such religious institution shall reduce the number of attendees accordingly.

7. All market places /supermarkets /shops in the malls /weekly market should be closed by 6 PM.

B. Work Places (Government and Private)

1. Working from home and virtual working should be encouraged.

2. Except officers, only 50% employees can work from office. However, this will not be applicable for organizations rendering Essential/Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Services and Election work.

3. Meetings in the official chambers to be discouraged.

4. Pregnant women employees and women with children of 5 years or below irrespective of their grade shall be allowed to work from home.

7. Social distancing at work places should be ensured through adequate gaps between shifts, staggering of lunch breaks of staff, etc.

8. Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizer be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. In addition, sufficient quantities of hand wash and sanitizer should be made available in the work places.

9. Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact should be carried out.

C. Educational Institutions (Government and Private)

1. All educational institutions including schools/colleges/universities must provide quality virtual options.

2. Not more than 50% students should attend in person on any day.

3. Schools should stagger class timings so that large scale release of students doesn’t arise.

4. There will be no morning assembly/special assembly etc. in the educational institutions.

5. Preference to be given on online mode of teaching for primary classes.

6. Education department will issue detail guideline/SOP for uninterrupted education service keeping in view of the COVID-19 precautionary measures.

D. Public Transport (Government and Private)

1. All Public transport authorities shall enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and seating inside the vehicles, carriers, containers, etc.

2. Auto Rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers maintaining social distancing.

3. City buses, Intra-district, Inter-district and Inter-state ‘buses will be allowed to operate with 50% of seating capacity.

4. No passenger shall be allowed to travel standing in the vehicle.

5. Wearing of mask and observance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour will be mandatory for all passengers.

E. Miscellaneous

1. Wearing of face mask is compulsory in all public places.

2. Shop owners shall ensure minimum six feet distance among customers and shall not allow more than 5 persons inside the shop. In addition, shop owners should compulsorily keep sanitizers and hand wash in their shops.

3. Shopkeepers and customers shall have to wear masks, hand gloves and maintain social distancing. Responsibility of maintenance of social distancing will be on the shop owner and failure to do so will be viewed very seriously and may entail summary closure of defaulting shops.

4. Barber shops, salons and parlours shall continue to provide service with strict compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour such as wearing of face masks, face cover, hand gloves.

5. Industrial units and Tea gardens may function subject to observance of COVID appropriate behaviour. Head of the unit/tea garden shall be responsible for ensuring social distancing, mask wearing by workers and staff, sanitization of industrial premises, thermal scanning, etc.

6. Following advisories earlier issued by ASDMA shall be strictly enforced

a. Advisory for Daily & Weekly Markets/Haat-Bazaars issued vide Order NO. ASDMA.20/2020/Pt./217dt. 14.07.2020 (Annexure-I)

b. Advisory for Engagement of Domestic Help issued vide Order NO.ASDMA.20/2020/Pt./187 dt. 20.05.2020 (Annexure-II)

c. Advisory for Apartment Societies for COVID-19 prevention issued vide Order NO.ASDMA.23/2020103 dt. 27.03.2020 (Annexure-III)

d. Advisory for elderly people issued vide Order NO.ASDMA.23/2020108 dt. 31.03.2020 (Annexure-IV) F. PenalProvisions:-

1. Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.

2. Any person not wearing face mask and/ or spitting in public places shall be fined to the tune of Rs.1000/- vide ASDMA’s earlier Order No. ASDMN24/2020/Part-1/122 dt. 14/10/2020 which can be imposed by District-wise Task Force comprising of District Disaster Management Authority, Magistracy, Police, Enforcement wing of District Transport Officer and Enforcement wing of Guwahati Municipal Corporation in their respective jurisdictions.

Deputy Commissioners will enforce the aforesaid order strictly and effectively for those districts where number of active COVID-19 patients rises to 100 or more.

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