Other States

Coronavirus | Assam seeks lockdown extension by 2 weeks

Sarbananda Sonowal

Sarbananda Sonowal  

State goes for containment, not colour-coded zones

The Assam government has sought extension of the lockdown by two more weeks, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Friday.

The government has also decided to mark areas where cases are detected as containment and buffer zones while continuing to regard the districts concerned as green zones. So far, 86 persons have tested positive, with 41 having recovered and two having died. One has migrated to Bihar.

“We have conveyed our stand on the need to extend the lockdown to the Centre, which had sought feedback from all the States by Friday,” Mr. Sonowal told journalists.

 

He said the government’s intention was to make the State’s 3.3 crore people mentally prepared and independent while dealing with a crisis in future. “We will utilise the special economic package announced by the Prime Minister judiciously to ensure everyone benefits from it,” he said. The State had provided financial support to 2.87 lakh construction workers and free rice to 44 lakh people without ration cards, he said.

Mr. Sonowal said 6.5 lakh people studying, living or working outside the State had expressed their willingness to return to Assam. He said migrant workers returning to Assam would be considered a skilled force and treated as assets, not liabilities, for absorption in various sectors

Livestock allowed

The government allowed trucks carrying livestock into the State while maintaining physical distancing and hygiene. Transport of pigs remained banned because of the African swine fever that has so far killed almost 15,000 domestic pigs.

A notification issued by Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the containment zones had been kept out of the purview of the permission for trucks carrying livestock.

Nine areas in Guwahati have been turned into containment zones after 28 persons who came from outside, including cancer patients and their attendants from Mumbai, tested positive in the last 48 hours. A 16-year-old girl died during this period.

Much of Assam, including Kamrup (Metro) district where Guwahati is situated, has been green zones since such a marking system was introduced. The State refused to go for colour-coded zones and decided to seal “positive areas” off as containment zones and have buffer zones around them.

“We have informed the Centre that we would not like to follow the red-orange-green zone concept but mark areas with COVID-19 cases as containment zones,” a spokesperson said.

The government on Thursday released fresh standard operating procedures for dealing with passengers returning to the State from other parts of the country by train.

Inter-State movement began on May 4. Of some 11,500 people who have returned by road so far, 18 tested positive.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:20:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-assam-seeks-lockdown-extension-by-2-weeks/article31593153.ece

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