ITANAGAR, 7 May: Jolted by the raging Covid-19 positive cases in Itanagar and the state, the state government on Friday announced a week’s lockdown in the Itanagar capital region (ICR) from 5 am of 10 May to 5 am of 17 May.
However, the government did not directly term it a lockdown. Instead, it termed it a “major containment measure” in Itanagar. Major restrictions will also be imposed across the state to break the chain of Covid transmission.
The declaration of the containment measures in Itanagar came following a State Disaster Management Authority meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and attended by the council of ministers and representatives from the health department and other stakeholders.
Addressing media persons, Principal Health Secretary Dr Sharat Chauhan informed that the decision has been taken to contain the virus from spreading. He informed that issuing of inner line permits will be suspended during the period of containment. No meeting or gathering in any open or closed space shall be allowed.
Dr Chauhan further informed that, for marriages, only religious ceremony will be allowed in the presence of a maximum of 20 persons. No reception parties will be allowed for post- or pre-marriage functions.
“At all religious places, congregation of not more than five persons shall be allowed at any time. Funeral-related gatherings shall not exceed more than 20 persons for each deceased,” he said.
“All shops and commercial establishments shall shut down by 4 pm on all days. Restaurants, dhabas and other eateries can entertain dine-in guests only till 4 pm,” Dr Chauhan said.
Takeaways, including home delivery of food, will be allowed till 6:30 pm. Restaurants operating within a hotel or resort can allow outside guests for upto 4 pm only. However, in-house guests of hotels/resorts may be allowed to dine in up to the usual time of operation, the order stated.
The order stated that the public transport authorities shall enforce Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and seating inside vehicles, carriers, containers, etc. Autorickshaws, cycle rickshaws and taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers, maintaining social distancing norms.
City buses, along with intra-district, inter-district and interstate buses will be allowed to operate with 50 percent seating capacity, it added.
Wearing of facemask has been made mandatory even for a single person driving a vehicle. In case of persons travelling in any private vehicle with upto 100 percent of its seating capacity, wearing of facemasks is mandatory for all the persons.
On night curfew, it said there shall be a total ban on the movement of individuals from 6:30 pm to 5 am daily, except the exempted essential services, including media persons, subject to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
There shall be no restriction on interstate and intra-state movement/transportation of essential/non-essential goods. No separate permission/e-pass will be required for such movement, it added.
The principal health secretary has directed all deputy commissioners to comply with the order.
Meanwhile, in the ICR, Deputy Commissioner Talo Potom informed that several activities shall be suspended during the period of lockdown, such as operation of shops and business establishments, except milk vans, vehicular movement, and any kind of construction activities at sites operated by government and private individuals.
However, Potom added that construction of major projects of the government shall be exempted. He added that “public movement, office and institution, both government and private, shall also be restricted.”
The DC further informed that delivery of food and essential services and e-commerce will be allowed. The capital region SDO and the administrative officials concerned shall make arrangement for delivery of food and essential services.
“Inter-district movement through the ICR as transit shall not be allowed and are to be routed through Papum Pare district. One time exit pass out of Itanagar shall be issued on application made two days in advance to the district Covid control room,” the DC informed.
He also informed that banking services will be allowed to function with minimum staffers, abiding by Covid appropriate behaviour.