7 days lockdown in Assam from Tuesday evening

No proper arrangements in Assam to check spread of Corona Virus, no protection for livelihood for the daily wage labourers! 

Assam Lockdown

Guwahati, March 24: Assam is all set for a 7-day lockdown starting 6 PM on Tuesday evening. Health and Finance Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma announced it at press briefing at the Assam Secretariat where only 10 journalists were allowed as a part of extraordinary measured being taken to combat the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. Sharma said, “As a precautionary measure to control corona endemic, the Government of Assam has decided for 7 days lockdown all over Assam from 6 pm of March, 24, 2020. The lockdown will continue till 6 pm of 31st March, 2020.” 

During the lockdown all establishments and facilities other than essential services will come to a halt. The Minister also said that if during the lockdown, any person comes out of their house without reason, he will liable to punishment of six months jail and penalty of Rs 2000/-. He said that medical, electricity and fire services will continue to work normally during lockdown as will banks and ATMs. Grocery shops will remain open. Other than these essential services everything will remain closed.

Sharma said, “Though medical, fire services, financial services, grocery shops will remain open, no rush will be allowed anywhere.” 

About religious places of worship, the minister said, “No mass prayers will be allowed in temples, namghar, mosques or other religious places. In temples or namghar the other than the head priest only two of his assistants will be allowed to perform religious duties.” He added, “In Mosques, other than the Imam only two of his moajjim will be allowed to perform religious duties. If more than three person enter religious places, they will be arrested and liable to punishment.” 

The minister said that till now no corona endemic positive cases have been found in Assam. 169 tests were conducted on suspicion of corona virus, of these 148 results came out as negative. The results for 21 cases are awaited. He said that still the government is taking all these steps as precautionary measure.  

Meanwhile, the declaration of a lockdown has received mixed reactions all over the state. While a majority of people have welcomed the tough steps taken by the administration, many people are also raising questions about the lack of alternative steps from government about to livelihood for the daily wage earners, who are going to be the worst affected during the lockdown. CPI(M) central Committee member Suprakash Talukder said, “We welcome the lockdown but at the same time government must ensure the basic livelihood for the working class. Government should give at least Rs 5000 to the daily wage earners so that they can gather their necessary food and other essential items.”  

Though, people are supporting the government initiative by and large, the government’s initiative to control the corona endemic through medical and administrative measures is getting sharp criticism. Abul Kalam Azad, Bijni District AAMSU President said, “One person came from Gujarat three days ago, facing cough, sneezing and fever in my village. The villagers feel that he is infected by corona virus. We have informed the matter to local police, civil administration, medical department and state help centre. But no steps have been taken.” 

There are also concerns about the large number of workers coming from southern states entering various villages of Assam without minimum medical check up. It is alleged widely that though many villagers have informed the state help centre, no proper response has been received.



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