A&N prohibits functions and gatherings for a month

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Port Blair, Apr 23 (PTI) The administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Friday prohibited social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural and political functions, besides gatherings for festivals and other congregations for four weeks in view of the surge in coronavirus cases, a top official said.

Parks, playgrounds, stadiums, swimming pools and sports events will also be temporarily closed for four weeks, said the secretary to the directorate of information and publicity and tourism Sunil Kumar Singh.

He said a maximum of 50 people will be allowed for functions related to weddings and 20 for gatherings related to funeral and last rites. Penalty of Rs 10,000 will be imposed if the directions are violated.

All commercial establishments in the Bay islands will have to ensure strict adherence of the COVID-19 appropriate behavior, Singh said.

Owners and those in charge of shops and business establishments will be required to ensure compliance. In the event of the failure to do so criminal proceedings will be initiated against them and the establishments will be sealed for 14 days by the executive magistrate, he said.

The Andaman and Nicobar administratiom also decided that from now all incoming passengers from the mainland will now have to undergo mandatory home quarantine for seven days irrespective of testing negative for coronavirus.

The passengers will be fined Rs 5000 if they violate the orders, he said.

Passengers proceeding to Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Little Andaman will also have to undergo 10 days mandatory home quarantine and will have to pay fine of Rs 5000 in case of violation.

Singh said at the daily briefing that weekend movement of convoys on the Andaman Trunk Road for North and Middle Andaman region has been suspended barring in emergency cases.

No tribal passes will be issued for the southern group of islands except for official purposes till further orders, he added.

The director of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Science (ANIIMS) informed that the services of 55 doctors who passed out in the first batch of the institute in November 2019 have been employed for three months to treat COVID-19 patients.

Regarding availability of oxygen, the ANIIMS Director said that the supllier agency has been directed to stop supply to private establishments in the islands as per the Centre's directives. PTI COR KK KK KK