Keeping in view of the large-scale spread of COVID19 in entire Kamrup Metro district, Assam government on Saturday announced extension of the lockdown in the district for one more week, till July 19.
In an order issued on Saturday, state chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the “continuing large-scale spread of COVID19 occurring in almost the entire district of Kamrup Metropolitan” may be a “major threat to public health, hygiene and safety of the general population”.
The chief secretary also said he has been informed that “due to extensive testing, isolation and other restrictive measures, community spread of COVID19 has been contained to some extent and is showing encouraging downward trend”.
This has necessitated “further extension of prohibitory measures in order to contain the spread of the pandemic and avoid large-scale spread of incidence of COVID 19 which is highly likely to cause loss of human lives”, the chief secretary said.
The lockdown has been extended under Section 22(2)(h) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and in supersession of all earlier orders.
The chief secretary, who is also the chairman of the Assam Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), directed the commissioner of police, Guwahati and the district magistrate of Kamrup Metro district to enforce the “lockdown” in all the areas under Kamrup Metro district.
This order shall come into force with effect from 6 PM on July 12, 2020 and shall remain in force up till 7 PM on July 19, 2020, the order said.
Movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited in the specified area.
Movement of all private vehicles is banned and no citizen is allowed to venture out of home with private vehicles, both two and four wheelers except for medical emergency, the order said.
All government offices, offices of autonomous/subordinate offices and private offices shall remain closed.
“All business/commercial establishments, shops and trade activities shall remain closed except all stand-alone grocery and stand-alone stationery shops dealing in personal hygiene goods are allowed to operate between 9 AM and 4 PM from Monday to Friday,” the order said.
However, the 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 summery closure of defaulting shops,” the chief secretary said in the order.
Maintenance of price line and prevention of artificial shortage will be the responsibility of shop keepers and food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department.
Neighbourhood grocery shops are allowed to operate as per timing mentioned above to ensure avoidance of use of private vehicles.
All Industrial establishments shall remain closed except continuous process industries would be allowed to function, subject to workforce staying in the premises and outwards/ inwards movement during the period of lockdown shall not be allowed.
All public transport services shall remain suspended and all hospitality services shall remain suspended.
“All educational, research, training, coaching institutions shall remain closed,” the order said.
“All places of worship shall remain closed for public. No religious congregation will be permitted without any exception; all social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions, gathering shall be barred,” the order said.
Not more than 20 persons will be permitted in case of funerals, it said.
All non-essential and avoidable movement of people shall be banned, besides spitting in public places is banned and will be punishable with fine.
Consumption and sale of liquor, paan, gutka and tobacco in public places are prohibited.
There are some exceptions as mentioned in the order.
“Defence, central and state police forces, establishment of the district magistrate, commissioner of police, home guards, civil defence, fire & emergency services, disaster management, electricity, water, sanitation, municipal bodies (only staff required for essential services like sanitation, water supply, etc.) will be allowed to function,” the order said.
“Hospitals and retail medical establishments along with pharmaceutical and medical equipment supply activities are permitted with maximum 20% of workforce and strictly ensuring that no outside labourers are engaged,” it added.
House to house sale of fruits and vegetables shall be allowed between 8 AM and 2 PM on five days a week between Monday and Friday.
The deputy commissioner shall identify vendors and allow specified vehicles in designated areas to sale all perishable items.
Besides, E-commerce activities supplying fruits, vegetables and other essential items are allowed to operate only between 10 AM and 4 PM from Monday to Friday.
Warehouses storing milk and milk products are allowed to operate on all days with workforce remaining inside the premises and the tea warehouses are allowed to operate from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM with workforce remaining inside the premises.
Operation of tea tasting, sampling, brokering, and warehousing activities are allowed to function with 20% of total work force.
“Operation of physical activities of Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) including e-auction is allowed with 20% of the total work force,” it said.
All Agricultural implements supply and maintenance activities are allowed five days a week from Monday to Friday between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Bakeries are allowed to operate four days a week from Tuesday to Friday between 10 AM and 4 PM.
“Only 10 (ten) % of bank and insurance company branches in the district with skeletal attendance and ATMs shall operate,” the chief secretary added in the order.
Print and electronic media including newspaper distribution are allowed.
Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services, IT and IT enabled services to continue. However, personnel engaged in these services are allowed to work from home only.
Only emergency repair crew would be allowed movement subject to prior permission/ pass from appropriate authority.
Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services shall continue with persons with specifically assigned duties being allowed to come out.
Transportation of essential goods, vehicles of health, fire, law & order and emergency services are allowed.
All transport services and movement of people from other districts shall remain suspended except that connected to COVID functions.
“Inter-state movement shall also remain suspended except with prior permissions/pass,” the order said.
“People (inter-state and inter district movement) holding train/air tickets to and from Guwahati as well to Guwahati shall be allowed to move only on production of such tickets at check points,” it said.
Hotels which are accommodating quarantined persons, medical and emergency staff, air crew shall operate with skeletal service and the establishments used /earmarked for quarantine facilities shall operate.
All officers of the rank of joint secretary and above shall attend office in Assam Secretariat regularly.
Other officers and employees shall be asked to attend office on need based instruction issued by the senior-most secretary of the department.
Directors shall decide on the number of skeletal officers and staff to attend for functioning of directorates.
Government officers and employees who are directed specifically by their controlling officers will only be allowed with documentary evidence of such permission/orders.
Rest of government functionaries shall work from home. Only those government officers and employees connected with the aforementioned exempted categories would be allowed to come to office/ workplaces.
Milk, baby food, medicines and water supply are allowed in areas and at all times.
Railway offices and persons directly linked with operation of passenger and goods trains shall be allowed to operate on being so assigned.
Whole sellers and warehouses of essential items are allowed to operate between 9 AM and 6 PM from Monday to Friday with workforce remaining inside the premises.
Transportation of essential items is allowed from warehouses to outside the district and retailers in the district and from Railway yards on the same days and time.
Only identified petrol pumps, gas agencies would be allowed to be operational during lockdown. LPG agencies shall distribute products at customers’ homes only.
Petroleum products to other districts would be allowed to move through highways.
Agricultural and tea garden activities shall continue with social distancing.
Animal care centres are allowed to open from Monday to Friday.
Animal welfare societies/ groups are allowed to operate with permission from deputy commissioner;
Lockdown permissions/ passes issued earlier stand cancelled. Fresh permissions /passes shall have to be obtained from competent authority.
“No pass shall be required for day long movement of suppliers of vegetable from outside the district to deliver fruits, vegetables and other essential and perishable goods in Kamrup Metropolitan from other districts,” the order said.