ITANAGAR, Jul 4: The state government has decided to observe a weeklong lockdown in the Itanagar capital region (ICR), including Doimukh circle, from 5 pm of 6 July to 5 am of 13 July.
Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar informed that the state cabinet has taken the “reactionary measure” in view of the significant spike in Covid-19 cases in the ICR.
“Considering that Covid-19 positive cases have relatively increased in the capital region over the past weeks, the cabinet has decided to go for seven days’ lockdown in the capital region, including Doimukh circle,” the CS said, addressing a press briefing here on Saturday evening.
He said the lockdown is being imposed to ensure that all the field officers and frontline workers who have been working on the ground over the past three months are screened and tested.
“Frontline warriors, be it in the health, police, or the hospitality service, would be tested during the seven days of lockdown to ensure that they are free from Covid-19,” Kumar said.
The other reasons for the lockdown, he said, are to “give breathing space to the district administration to prepare against the spread of Covid-19, and effective surveillance of the movement of the paramilitary forces in the state.”
Without directly mentioning the China-India tension along the LAC, the CS informed that there is a huge movement of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces in the state “due to obvious reason.” He said the lockdown would assist in getting the paramilitary personnel who are coming from other states tested.
When asked whether the government was hiding any significant information from the public on Covid-19, Kumar categorically denied it.
“The government and the authorities are working in a transparent manner and the state government is capable enough to handle the Covid situation,” he said.
On the modalities and guidelines of the lockdown, the CS said, “We will try our best that the lockdown is a 100 percent lockdown. The movement of people should be bare minimum.”
He appealed to the people of the ICR to cooperate with the government and the district administration.
Strict measures to be in place
The government will adopt strict measures restricting movement of people, including in vehicles, in the capital region during the lockdown, according to the SOP.
Movement of people from the ICR to other places will not be allowed, except in emergencies, with prior approval from the deputy commissioner.
Most of the government offices will remain closed, except the Raj Bhavan, the CMO, the state secretariat, the home department, the police headquarters, the health department, the disaster management department, the PWD road and highway, the power department, the PHED, and the NIC office.
Persons engaged in duties related to the ICR DC office, the police, the courts, the fire and emergency services, the disaster management department, the prison, electricity, water supply, sanitation, etc, will be allowed to move in their own vehicles and in government vehicles with valid identity cards. The other officials will work from home during the period.
The chief secretary informed that all commercial and private establishments will remain closed. However, he said, banks and ATMs, and the people engaged in the print and electronic media, health facilities and pharmacies, internet services, broadcasting and cable services, and other utility services would be allowed to move.
“All transport services will be suspended, except for transportation of essential goods, the fire service, law and order. The transportation of goods and essential services to other districts like Pakke-Kessang, Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Lower Subansiri and Upper Subansiri would be allowed through Gumto check gate,” according to the SOP.
The hospitality services will also be suspended during the lockdown, except establishments being used as quarantine facilities.
House delivery of LPG cylinders will be allowed.
The SOP further states that no religious place will be allowed to be open and no religious congregation will be permitted.
“Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural gathering will be barred. In case of funeral, not more than twenty persons will be allowed,” the SOP reads.
Those who violate the lockdown measures will be liable to be prosecuted as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides facing legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, it reads.