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Northeast states tighten measures to deal with Covid surge

By IANS Updated: Apr 23, 2021 12:16 am

Guwahati, April 22 (IANS): As the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases mounted, the northeastern states, including Assam, further tightened measures to check the spread of the deadly virus, officials said on Wednesday.

The Assam government, partially modifying its earlier Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), has made 7-day home quarantine mandatory for the people coming to Assam by flights and trains even if the result of their Covid test is negative.

However, government officials, those travelling for medical reasons, and people with bereavement cases shall be exempted, said the SOP, issued by the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Samir Kumar Sinha.

Though the Assam State Disaster Management Authority earlier ordered closure of market places, super markets, shops in malls and weekly markets by 6 p.m., it has allowed take away and home delivery of restaurant food and essential items after 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar, in an order, imposed a corona night curfew in Agartala Municipal Corporation area from 10 pm to 5 am from Thursday onwards.

The order said that in closed spaces, a maximum of 50 per cent of the seating or hall capacity should be allowed for any social, cultural, entertainment or political gathering with a ceiling of 100 persons while in open spaces, higher numbers may be allowed based on the size of the ground with a ceiling of 200 persons.

In Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday reviewed the Covid situation in all districts through video conferencing with the Deputy Commissioners and health officials. He said that the situation in the state is serious with cases rising everyday but taking appropriate measures now can prevent the situation from getting out of control in the days to come.

“We have to take precautionary measures to avoid situations like Delhi and Mumbai by following strict Covid protocol and getting ourselves vaccinated,” he said.

The Chief Minister also ruled out lockdown and said that the effort is to minimise economic restrictions but a balance between economy and health safety must be maintained. He also informed that the state is among the lowest performers in Covid vaccination and the focus of the government will be on aggressive vaccination in the next 10 days.

“We have set a target to vaccinate 6.5 lakh eligible beneficiaries in the next seven days by identifying the most vulnerable locations and target groups,” he said.

The night curfew in East Khasi Hills District, in which capital Shillong falls, has been extended for another week until April 25.

The state government also announced a series of measures, including banning entry of tourists from other states.

The Nagaland and Tripura governments have ordered closures of educational institutions.

Night curfew and various other restrictions continue to be in effect in Mizoram capital Aizawl and other parts of the mountainous state.

Nagaland Governor RN Ravi has also requested church leaders to influence people to follow coronavirus protocols. In view of the severity of the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, Ravi on Wednesday held a sensitisation-cum-consultation meeting with various party leaders.

In Manipur, the state government has imposed night curfew in the entire state from 7 pm to 5 am. Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh has made testing compulsory for all people entering the state.

Tripura Education Minister and government spokesman Ratan Lal Nath said that all educational institutions – primary to university level – would remain closed for an indefinite period. However, the ongoing examinations would continue as scheduled.

By IANS Updated: Apr 23, 2021 12:16:02 am