Other States

Assam bans Id gathering, prayers

A police personnel disperses people not adhering to COVID-induced lockdown protocols, in Guwahati. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

A fresh set of COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Assam government on Monday said the upcoming festival of Id should be celebrated at home.

The directive on Id-ul-Zoha or Bakrid, scheduled on July 21, has come a week after the Assam government tabled a cattle protection Bill in the 126-member Assembly. The Bill seeks to restrict transportation of cattle within and through the State besides preventing the sale of beef within a 5 km radius of temples and religious places of non-beef-eating communities.

“All persons to celebrate Iid from their homes. Religious rituals, e.g., Namaaz at a mosque is allowed with not more than five persons including the religious head,” the guidelines issued by Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua said.

All other religious places will continue to remain closed for devotees, the order said besides capping the number of attendees at marriages and funerals in districts not under total lockdown at 10.

According to the guidelines applicable from 5 a.m. on July 20, five of Assam’s 34 districts — Golaghat, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur and Biswanath — will continue to be under a total lockdown while restrictions have been eased in Goalpara and Morigaon districts. These two districts will now have a daily curfew from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The remaining districts will continue to have 12-hour daily curfew from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. with all offices, shops and business establishments required to close an hour ahead of the curfew timing.

“The situation of COVID-19 in the State has been comprehensively reviewed and it was observed that though a few districts have shown improvement in the positivity rate, the number of active cases and positivity rate is still high in some districts,” the order said.

Government employees who have taken at least one dose of COVID vaccine will have to attend office except in containment zones. Employees who have not taken vaccine will have to attend office as and when their services are required, the order said.

The odd-even formula for private vehicles will continue in urban areas and the ban on inter-district movement will also remain, the order said.

Assam had on Sunday recorded 1,329 new COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. The positivity rate was 1.86% of the total number of people tested.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 3:36:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-bans-id-gathering-prayers/article35407225.ece

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