- NJ Thakuria
Guwahati: Even though the north-eastern States have not reported a single case of COVID-19 till date, the State governments of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram have declared a State wide lockdown till the midnight of March 31.
Assam minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday announced the extraordinary measure citing some exceptions for the supply of essential items along with medicines, whereas no public transport would be permitted during the period. Earlier Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram ordered lockdowns for their residents as precautionary measures for the outbreak of novel corona virus.
The lock down for all three States will also be on force till March 31 midnight. “Local grocery shops, pharmacies and petrol pumps will remain open during the lockdown. Moreover, professionals engaged with essential services like electricity, water supply, fire brigade etc will be allowed to move,” said Dr Sarma. He appreciated the people for supporting 22 March Janata Curfew following the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he termed as a unique affair in nature.
Guwahati remained calm since the morning hours and the usually crowded city roads wore a deserted look for the whole day. All business establishments, institutions, offices, shops and markets remained closed except the pharmacies and hospitals. Ambulances, water supply vehicles and other essential services continued their activities. By 5 pm, the city emerged alive with a series of applauses by thousands confined Guwahatians for those individuals who continue to serve the human race in the outbreak of novel corona virus across the globe. It was a life time experience for everyone in the prehistoric city when the sound of clapping, traditional musical instruments, homely utensil and other items grabbed the ambience for five minutes.
However, Dr Sarma urged everyone to be cautious on the virus as rumours could spread time and again. Meanwhile, the city based newspaper-hawker’s association decided not to distribute papers from Tuesday till March 31 because of novel corona virus outbreak in the country. Guwahati witnesses the publication of over 20 morning dailies in different languages including Assamese, Hindi, English etc and the decision would deprive thousands of Guwahatians of getting their newspapers at the door steps for some days.