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8 Assam districts impose travel curbs to and from Guwahati after Covid-19 cases surge

Health authorities in the state have declared community spread of Covid-19 in Guwahati and rest of Kamrup Metro district and have placed the district under total lockdown for two weeks since June 28.

Updated: Jul 07, 2020 19:00 IST

By Utpal Parashar | Edited by Anubha Rohatgi, Hindustan Times Guwahati

A man sprays disinfectant on a healthcare worker after carrying patients in an ambulance in Guwahati, Monday, July 6, 2020. (ANI)

Following an alarming rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Guwahati and the rest of Kamrup Metro district, several districts in Assam have banned travel to and from the state’s biggest city in a bid to prevent spread of the disease in their areas.

Health authorities in the state have declared community spread of Covid-19 in Guwahati and rest of Kamrup Metro district and have placed the district under total lockdown for two weeks since June 28.

Between June 24 and July 6, Kamrup Metro had recorded 3,891 positive cases—nearly one-third of the 12,522 total cases detected in the state till date.

“We decided to put restrictions on movement of people from Kokrajhar to Kamrup Metro and vice versa from Monday till further notice to prevent possible outbreak of community transmission of Covid-19 in our district,” said Bhaskar Phukan, deputy commissioner of Kokrajhar district.



“The step was taken in consultation with doctors after we saw that several people in neighbouring Bongaigoan tested positive after their return from Guwahati. Essential government services and medical emergencies will be exempt from the restriction,” he added.

Besides Kokrajhar, authorities in Nagaon, Tinsukia, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Nalbari, Barpeta and South Salmara districts have also imposed a ban on travel to and from Kamrup Metro under provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005. People found violating the ban will have to undergo 14 days quarantine.

“We issued an order on Tuesday restricting movement to and from Kamrup Metro. People who returned from Guwahati or any part of Kamrup Metro during the past few days have been advised to undergo home quarantine for 14 days and report to health authorities immediately if they show any symptoms of Covid-19,” said Nagaon deputy commissioner Jadav Saikia.

Meanwhile, Assam health authorities launched door-to-door coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tests at a locality in Guwahati from Tuesday following a spike in coronavirus infections.

Rapid antigen detection (RAD) tests, where results are made available within an hour, started in Ward-2 (Pandu), a densely populated locality, under the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), state health minister Himanta Biswa Sharma said.

Healthcare workers aim to conduct 3,000 RAD tests by Wednesday. The door-to-door RAD tests are aimed at measuring the extent of spread of the viral disease within the community.

Taking a cue from Kamrup Metro, some other districts in the state have also enforced lockdown restrictions.

On Monday, a two-week lockdown began in the hilly Dima Hasao district, allowing only 30% of all grocery shops to operate between 11 am and 4 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The authorities in Upper Assam’s Jorhat district also announced on Monday that they would impose a lockdown for from July 9 to July 15, both days inclusive.

Dima Hasao and Jorhat districts had recorded 89 and 145 Covid-19 positive cases, respectively, until Monday.

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