GUWAHATI: With the number of COVID-19 cases starting to show a steep decline, Assam's health department today issued the new set of SOPs to be followed in the next phase of lockdown in order to minimize the spread of the virus.
Addressing media personnel here, Assam's health minister Keshab Mahanta said that as many as 7 districts (Goalpara, Golaghat, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, and Morigaon) will be put under total containment as the rate of infections is still very high there.
"Apart from these districts, the district administrations have been given the responsibility to declare areas with a high positivity rate as containment zones. After declaration as containment zone, there will be total testing and vaccination in these areas," Mahanta said, adding that the government will provide ration worth Rs. 2,000 to the people in these areas.
In these districts, only essential shops (such as grocery shops) will be allowed to remain open till 5 pm. Other than that, all other shops and markets will remain closed.
In another set of districts, where the case rate is also relatively high, shops will close at 1 pm and curfew will be clamped an hour later at 2 pm.
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These districts are Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Nalbari, Baksa, Bajali, Kamrup, Darang, Nagaon, Hojai, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Chachar, and Karbi Anglong.
"In Sivasagar and Dibrugarh," Mahanta said, "there has been a deterioration in the situation and we will be keeping a sharp eye to monitor the situation."
These two districts will be under close watch for a week, asserted Mahanta.
In another set of districts, shops will be open till 4 pm and a curfew will begin from 5 pm. This rule will be applicable in the districts of Dhubri, Kamrup Metro, South Salmara, Majuli, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Udalguri, West Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Charaideo, and Hailakandi.
Mahanta also disclosed that the situation is turning for the worse in Kamrup (Metro) district where things were starting to improve after incessant efforts from the local administration.
Mahanta has announced that the restrictions that were in force earlier -- such as a ban on interdistrict travel -- shall continue across Assam.
These restrictions shall continue until the next SOP is announced by the state government.
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