Total lockdown to curb COVID spread comes into effect in Nagaland

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Kohima, May 14 (PTI) The week-long total lockdown imposed by the Nagaland government to contain the spread of coronavirus has come into effect from 6 pm on Friday.

All activities and movement of people will remain suspended except permitted ones - essential services, agriculture and construction works - till May 21, officials said.

Shops dealing in essential commodities such as grocery and bakery items, vegetables, fish, meat, milk and animal feed were allowed to remain open from 6 am to 12 noon daily and only one person per family has to do the shopping.

In the state capital Kohima, shops will operate only on May 17, 19 and 21. Markets in the commercial hub of Dimapur will also remain open only on alternate days.

However, wholesalers were permitted to open their outlets during the specified time on all days in order to maintain the supply chain to shops in colonies, wards and villages, officials said.

People were directed to go only to nearby shops and refrain from moving beyond their localities during the lockdown period.

Healthcare facilities and pharmacies will be open and COVID-19 testing and vaccination will continue, officials said.

An order issued by Chief Secretary J Alam said that the Dimapur Airport will remain open and movement of staff and passengers will be permitted in adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

More than 20 people will not be allowed in weddings and funeral services while mass gathering in social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious functions have been barred.

Violation of the protocols will attract penal action, the chief secretary said.

The heads of government departments and offices and the core group of officers and staff in their respective departments have been allowed to attend to urgent and essential matters including court cases.

The Nagaland government on Tuesday decided to clamp total lockdown in the state for seven days from May 14 amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Till Thursday, the state's COVID-19 caseload was 17,256 with 12,968 recovered patients and 3,551 active patients. Altogether 177 people have succumbed to the disease.