SILCHAR, Aug 23 - At a time when the State Government has given a nod to reports by the deputy commissioners of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi for clamping a fresh spell of lockdown in Barak Valley tentatively from August 26 to September 4 with the objective to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases and tally of deaths due to the virus, diverse reactions have poured in from various corners of southern Assam.
While Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Anbamuthan MP told The Assam Tribune on Saturday that the Government is aware of the situation and thinking in line of a probable lockdown, Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli reiterated her views today by saying, �since the move involves the whole of Barak Valley, it might need some time to arrive at a conclusion on the decision as of now.�
Meanwhile, an order from Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna stated: �it has been reported to me by the deputy commissioners of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi that there are increased incidents of spread of COVID-19 cases in their respective jurisdictions.
Having examined the reports and opinions of the deputy commissioners, it has been decided that the State Government has no objection to the measures to be put in place by the DDMAs of these three districts as deemed proper for ensuring prevention of further spread of COVID-19 between August 26 to September 4, 2020."
�However, the District Disaster Management Authorities are directed to ensure compliance of all the directives issued by the MHA, including the latest one under DO No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated August 22, 2020,� the order further said.
Social media is abuzz with arguments and counter-arguments from people of southern Assam on the positive and negative impacts if the administration eventually decides to go ahead with the 10-day lockdown.
On the other hand, Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy said, �amidst the rising instances of COVID-19 cases, the administration of the three districts must have given a good thought on the pros and cons to the move for a fresh round of lockdown, which in my view should have been done already. Our job is to follow the guideline set by the Government and I believe whatever steps will be taken will help to improve the situation.�
The MP who keeps updating the number of cases related to COVID-19 on his social media pages, shared the latest update citing figures of 8, 616 total cases of COVID-19 in Barak Valley with 3,093 active cases and 52 deaths till 11pm of August 22. As many as 5,471 patients have been released so far, the update informed.
Interestingly, Congress MLA from North Karimganj Kamalakhya Dey Purakayastha has also pitched his thoughts on the issue saying instead of agreeing to go for lockdown, the Government should try to facilitate more ICUs and ventilators, increase ambulances under 108 services at the COVID-18 hospital in Karimganj and also across the valley for augmenting treatment of patients.
�At this point when the nationwide unlock phase has begun, the State Government is enforcing a fresh lockdown to hide it�s failures in providing facilities to combat the COVID-19 issue,� he was quoted as saying.