Covid-19: Nagaland announces indefinite lockdown - Eastern Mirror
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Covid-19: Nagaland announces indefinite lockdown

By Our Correspondent Updated: Mar 22, 2020 11:57 pm
A dog walks across a deserted street in Dimapur as people stayed off the road in Dimapur on Sunday. (EM Images/Caisii Mao)
  • Commercial vehicles like buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, two-wheeler taxis, ordered off the road until further notice
  • Public movement restricted, except for those seeking to procure and distribute essential goods, avail essential services, medical facilities
  • All inter-state entry points sealed, except for movement of essential commodities, security forces, medical equipments and goods vehicles
  • Exemptions for pharmacies, petrol pumps, and grocery shops selling food grains, food items, vegetables, daily use items, other essential commodities, and media offices.
A motorist rides in an empty street during Janta Curfew against covid-19 in Dimapur. (EM Images/Caisii Mao)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, March 22 (EMN):
In the wake of rapid rise in novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases across India, the government of Nagaland has announced a lockdown of the entire state starting midnight of March 22 until further notice.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday evening, Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said that there has been no confirmed Covid-19 case in Nagaland yet. ‘But that should not make us complacent, and therefore all steps and measures are being taken’, he added.

According to Toy, the government has announced the lockdown in the interest of public health and safety, and with a view to contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

An empty church is seen during Janta curfew against covid-19 in Dimapur on Sunday, March 22, 2020. (EM Images/Caisii Mao)

• All shops and business establishments, except pharmacies, petrol pumps, and grocery shops selling food grains, food items, vegetables, daily use items, other essential commodities and media offices shall remain closed till further orders.

• All commercial passenger vehicles, both public and private, like buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, two wheeler taxis, etc., shall not ply till further orders. Vehicles carrying inter-state transit passengers will be allowed till the midnight of March 23, 2020.

• Movement of all public is restricted except those coming out of their homes for procurement and distribution of essential commodities, availing essential services, medical facilities and other basic needs.

• All inter-state entry points shall be sealed except for movement of essential commodities, security forces, medical equipments and supplies, and goods vehicles transiting the state till further orders. However, the drivers and attendants of the vehicles transiting the state shall be subject to medical screening as per laid down protocol.

• All government offices, both central and state, except district administration, police, security forces, fire and emergency services, Home department, medical, postal services, NIC, NSDMA, Power, PHED, Food and Civil Supplies, Finance, Treasury and Accounts, banks/ ATMs, AIR, Doordarshan, shall remain closed till further orders. However, the administrative heads of department/heads of departments/heads of offices shall form a core group of officers/staff to attend to urgent and essential matters. All other government employees should be available on call.

Any person/group of persons acting in violation of this order shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 1898 of the Indian Penal code, he warned.

The chief secretary mentioned that the cabinet secretary of the country had a video conference with all the chief secretaries on Sunday morning and discussed about various issues. He said that Nagaland was without a testing centre ‘because these kinds of cases require a lot of protocol and cannot be set up overnight’.

Talking about the racial profiling of Nagas in the cities, he stated that he has requested the officer concerned in other states to look into the matter.

“We are not stopping the flights for now but if need arises we will also be stopping the flights,” he added.

“On the part of the state government, we have identified around 280 beds for proper quarantine or infected persons, if any,” he informed.

Toy urged the people to understand that ‘this is a worldwide phenomenon as the whole country is fighting hard to contain this virus’. He mentioned that there was a countrywide shortage of personal protective equipments, hand sanitisers and masks, and Nagaland was no exception, but “we are trying to make an arrangement to bring in as much as possible.”

He acknowledged the services contributed by Kohima Science College in Jotsoma and Fazl Ali College in Mokokchung, for making hand sanitisers and distributing them for free.

The chief secretary asserted that the fresh restrictions enforced by the government was for all the citizens. “Every day the scenario is changing and it is important that we are fully sensitised to the realities around us and not be complacent or not be serious about this,” he said.

Toy further appealed to all the students coming back to Nagaland from across the country to restrict their movements in socialising and adhere to standard precautionary measures.

“This is not the time to criticise, but this is the time to join hands,” he said.

The chief secretary further informed that Nagaland Police personnel would ensure enforcement of the fresh regulations at all entry points.

Also, Toy informed that the government was in touch with Self Help Groups and village councils and providing them with information.

He reminded that they are not stopping entry of essential commodities and therefore they do not expect shortage of essential commodities. He also informed that they have ordered for a large number of portable ventilators.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Mar 22, 2020 11:57:00 pm