Assam permits restricted economic activities in Green zones, night curfew across state

The Assam government on May 3 announced 12-hours curfew from 6 pm daily for the entire duration of the third phase of Coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown from May 4. The state government has allowed a number of enonomic activities in the Green zones.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on May 3, Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Based on the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines for the third phase of lockdown, the state government has come out with a list of exemptions and rules.”

“These will be for Green zone only. There will be no relaxation of any kind in lockdown norms for Orange and Red Zones,” he said, adding that there are four Orange zones/districts in the state at the moment, while there are no Red zone as of now.

He said curfew will be imposed across the state from 6 pm to 6 am daily from May 4, with exemption for emergency services like media, medical services, police, fire services and emergency response for restoring telecom and electricity.

All standalone shops shall be allowed to operate till 5 pm, and in areas where there are adjacent shops, one-third of the shops will be allowed to open, except for pharmacies, grocery stores and book shops.

“Market complexes, shopping malls, cinema halls, weekly markets, will remain closed,” the minister said.

Barber shops, saloons and parlours will continue to remain closed, though home visits of barber will be allowed. Educational institutions, gymnasiums, swimming pools, sports coaching will continue to remain closed.

Private Medical Clinics and OPDs, including veterinary OPDs, and laboratories have been allowed to open.

The minister further informed that all government and private offices will operate with 50 per cent of employees, with female employees with children below 5 years of age exempted from duty till May 17, when this will be reviewed.

All constructions in urban areas have been allowed with a maximum of 50% work force.

Movement of persons beyond the age of 65 years and below the age of 10 years shall be restricted in public spaces, except for medical purposes.

City buses, intra-district and inter-district buses have been allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity. Only 50 per cent of total number of buses shall be allowed to operate and only under permission from ASTC.

“All vehicles which are allowed to ply are not permitted to stop in the Red and Orange zones but can only pass through,” Sarma added.

Moreover, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers.

Private four wheelers are allowed with driver and two others, while for two wheelers, pillion riding is allowed either with one female or one child up to the age of 12 years.

All tea shops, restaurants, ice-cream parlours, cooked food outlets have been allowed to operate on take away or home delivery basis only. E-commerce of all commodities has also been permitted.

The minister further said no livestock carrying trucks will be allowed to enter the state. However, if there is any truck already loaded with livestock and headed for any state requiring passage through Assam will be allowed to move to their destination without stopping in Assam.

“Maintaining social distancing and arrangement for thermal scanning, hand sanitization shall be the responsibility of the head of the organization both public and private,” he said.

Altogether 42 positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the state so far, with one patient succumbing while 32 patients making complete recovery.

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