SHTF recommends calling off super-spreader events

Schools to remain closed, entry only for fully vaccinated

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 11 Jan: The State Health Task Force (SHTF) has recommended calling off or deferring the state’s golden jubilee celebration, Republic Day celebration and local festivals in the state and the district levels, or to conduct them in a “toned down virtual/online mode” as they could lead to large gatherings and likely be super-spreader events.

In a meeting on 10 January, the SHTF held detailed discussions on the present Covid situation, especially the observable upsurge in Covid-19 cases in the past one week and the likelihood of emergence or presence of the Omicron variant in the state, and recommended several other public health measures with immediate effect to control and combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic till 31 January.

The deputy commissioners have been authorized to announce Covid-19 containment measures and/or declare containment zones in their respective territorial jurisdictions, in consultation with the health department.

Following the recommendations, the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) DC has imposed night curfew from 5 am of 12 January to 31 January within the entire geographical territory of the ICR.

Movement of vehicles or individuals shall not be allowed during the curfew period, except for the press, medical personnel and services related to security, disaster management and emergency services, including the district administration, health, water, power generation, transmission, distribution services and telecom.

All schools and hostels, both government and private, shall remain closed from 12 to 31 January. However, classes can be conducted online during work days.

Universities, colleges and higher technical institutions have been directed to regulate the timing of their classes with 50 percent capacity in well-ventilated rooms, following CAB and physical distancing norms.

Entry to the ICR from other states shall be allowed via the Banderdewa, Hollongi and Gumto check gates and the Naharlagun railway station for those who are fully vaccinated.

All workplaces, businesses and commercial establishments will be permitted to operate till 8 pm, with fully vaccinated staffers and strict observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Offices will adopt virtual functioning with only 50 percent physical attendance of essentially required staffs on a rotation basis. Public visitors will not be allowed in government offices until 31 January. Official meetings shall also be conducted virtually.

All public servants have been directed to submit their final vaccination certificates to their respective offices.

Shops and commercial establishments have been allowed to open till 8 pm only.

Bars, gyms, swimming pools, cinema halls, auditorium, etc, shall operate with 50 percent capacity, while all the weekly markets and haats, fairs, exhibitions, melas and local festivals will be disallowed during the period.

Mass gathering and events in indoor and closed spaces have been disallowed. However, public gatherings for outdoor events will be restricted to a maximum of 100 persons for vaccinated persons only (single dose or double dose), and prior permission has to be obtained from the district administration.

Indoor/closed space gathering at religious places and places of worship has been prohibited. However, religious events may be held in outdoor/well-ventilated spaces with a maximum of 100 persons who are fully vaccinated.

All those operating business establishments, shops, religious places, transportation and events have been directed to strictly observe Covid-appropriate behaviour.

All public transport (buses, Trekkers, Tempos and autorickshaws) will be allowed to operate with 50 percent capacity.

Any person violating the order shall be liable to be proceeded against as per provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.

Any person(s) not wearing a facemask and/or found spitting in public places shall be fined Rs 500 and Rs 200, respectively.