File photograph of Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on May 2 said that more than 6.25 lakh stranded people outside the state have registered for the Assam cares financial assistance out of which 2.5 lakh people so far have been provided with the financial aid of Rs 2000 each by the state government in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

Talking to media persons in Guwahati, Sarma said under the Assam Cares initiative, a total of 2,55,500 persons stranded in different parts of the country have been provided with the financial aid of Rs 2000.

He added that a total of over 20 lakh people from Assam are estimated to be outside the state, calculating all family members.

Sarma informed that the government of Assam has issued helpline numbers for people stranded outside who wish to return to the state.

People in other states of the country who wish to return to Assam may contact the government by giving a missed call on helpline number 7428159966. A link will be sent within 48 hours asking for details.

“We might take time to bring the stranded persons back as we will need train services. But we urge them to inform us if they need assistance in coming back to their hometown,” stated Sarma adding that those who don’t wish to return, will be provided monetary help of Rs 2000 on the 15th of every month until the normalcy returns.

Sarma also said that the state government is mulling options of imposing curfew in the state everyday from 6 PM to 6 AM.

He added that while inter-state travel will be allowed in the northeast, the same cannot be done after 7 PM.

Assam has been put under Green Zone by the Ministry of Home Affairs. As such, many more relaxations are expected during the extended lockdown.

Earlier the government had announced to keep all persons coming into the state under quarantine.

Apart from facility quarantine camps set up by the government, people will have the option to stay in hostels or even hotels. However, these will involve cost. all kinds of hotels from regular to star hotels will be booked by the government for this purpose.

“Hostels will be booked for people who do not want to stay at quarantine centres. Health officials will be present and all health testing will be conducted. But, these will be paid quarantines,” informed state minister Sarma.

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