Guwahati: The Assam government on Saturday announced further restrictions in urban areas, banning movement of people and vehicles from 12 noon to 5 am to contain the spiralling COVID-19 cases.
In rural areas, however, the curfew will remain effective from 6 PM.
Earlier, shops were allowed to operate till 1 pm and curfew was imposed for 15 hours from 2 pm to 5 am.
According to the new notification, the curfew hours have been extended by two more hours from 12 pm to 5 am while the shops have been allowed to operate only upto 11am.
Commuters and vehicular movement will only be allowed for seven hours – between 5 am to 12 pm – mentioned the order signed by Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah.
The existing odd-even rule for vehicular movement will continue, the notification mentioned.
As per the rule, vehicles bearing odd registration number will be allowed on odd days and those with even registration number on the even days.
To avoid “overcrowding and for maintaining social distancing protocol”, the opening time of the liquor shops have been moved from 10 am to 9 am, according to a notification signed by the Additional Commissioner of Excise.
These moves are to contain the COVID-19 spread without imposing a total lockdown in the state at a time when neighbouring northeastern states have either imposed a total lockdown or lockdowns in their capitals.
Assam’s Health Minister Keshab Mahanta had last Wednesday said that the state is trying everything to avoid a total lockdown.
Assam presently has over 41,947 active COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of over eight per cent. The state currently has 3,19,632 COVID-19 positive cases while 2,060 people have died due to the infection.