Total lockdown to continue in five Assam districts with high COVID-19 positivity rate

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Guwahati, Jul 19 (PTI) Five districts of Assam will continue to be under total lockdown owing to their high COVID-19 positivity rate while the movement of people to and from other districts across the state will remain suspended, state Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Monday.

These five districts Jorhat, Golaghat, Sonitpur, Biswanath, and Lakhimpur - along with two others, were declared as total containment zones on July 7 for showing a high COVID-19 positivity rate.

While the restrictions have been partially relaxed in Goalpara and Morigaon due to a slight improvement in the situation, the other five districts will continue to be under complete lockdown, Mahanta said.

There will be a round the clock curfew in these five districts.

'However, in the districts showing moderate positivity rate, namely Goalpara and Morigaon, curfew will be from 1 pm to 5 am,' Mahanta said.

In the rest of the districts, which are showing improvement in the COVID-19 positivity rate and caseload, curfew will be from 5 pm to 5 am, the minister said.

All workplaces, business or commercial establishments, shops, restaurants, dhabas, eateries, showrooms of cold storage, among others, can remain open up to noon in districts with moderate positivity, and up to 4 pm in districts showing improvement, he added.

'However, shops dealing with groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, animal fodder will be open up to 5 pm in districts showing high and moderate positivity and up to 4 pm in the districts showing improvement,' Mahanta said.

He further informed that all inter-district passenger transport services and movement of people to and from other districts will remain suspended.

Though there will be a ban on the movement of all public and private transport in the total containment districts, movement of goods will be allowed, he said.

'In other districts, public transport will be allowed but authorities must enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, ' the minister said.

While public gathering is banned in total containment districts, up to 10 persons will be allowed in marriage or funeral events in the other districts, the minister said.

Other restrictions and COVID-appropriate behaviour, including wearing face masks, the odd-even formula for plying of vehicles, as notified earlier will remain in force, he added.

The minister said the new directives will come into force from 5 am on Tuesday and will be remain in force until further orders. PTI SSG MM MM

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