11 Guwahati wards under total lockdown

After a surge in novel coronavirus cases in the capital city of Assam, which is being blamed on the failure of the containment zone policy, the State government imposed a complete lockdown in 11 of the 31 wards in Guwahati from yesterday.

Announcing the decision, Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner Biswajit Pegu said at least 170 people in Guwahati, who have tested positive for COVID-19, do not have any travel history which was a matter of “serious concern”.

The lockdown order was issued by Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna and it will be in force for at least two weeks. It will cover Guwahati Municipal Corporation ward nummbers: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (partially), 15 and 16. All these wards are mainly located in the southwest side of the city and have majority of the COVID-19 positive cases.

“This time, the lockdown will be enforced in a very strict manner and by this evening me and police commissioner will finalise a strategy for that. Without a proper lockdown, it will be impossible to prevent community transmission in the city,” Pegu said.

According to the deputy commissioner, implementation of the containment zone policy has failed due to lack of mass awareness. “Inside most of the containment zones, people used to move around freely and come in contact with each other. So, all our efforts went in vain,” Pegu said.

He said public movement will be strictly prohibited in these areas and only emergency services along with food and health facilities will be allowed to operate. He requested everyone to go for home-delivery modes to avail essential commodities in their doorsteps to avoid coming out from home.

Violation of the lockdown norms will attract strict legal action under the Disaster Management Act, IPC and other legal provisions, he said. The lockdown has, however, exempted the employees of print and electronic media houses, including those who are involved with newspaper distribution.

“The district administration has identified the areas which will be covered by the lockdown notification after a detailed analysis of ground-level situation. In lockdown areas, we will try to test as many people as possible under the ongoing community surveillance programme,” he added.