GOALPARA, March 22 - Along with other parts of the state, Goalpara town too wore a deserted look as private vehicles, passenger buses, taxis and autos stayed off the road in solidarity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s call for Janata curfew in a bid to prevent spread of the highly contagious Covid-19.
Public activities in the district virtually came to a standstill as all the business establishments, bus stand and railway station remain closed in Lakhipur, Krishnai, Dudhnoi, Rangjuli, Dhupdhara etc.
However, essential services, including hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies remained open as usual. The people opted to stay indoors in order to maintain social distance and to break the chain of transmission of the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, Sangita Sarma, a research scholar who is in the district, praised the initiative as a bold step to counter the deadly virus. She pointed out that the disease has disrupted economies and lives of people and such a step like home quarantine should be extended so that a complete shutdown of 2 to 3 days will not only bring in respite, but also prevent coronavirus from spreading further.
IN UDALGURI: As the clock struck 5 this evening, responding to the clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a howling siren signalled the public to express their gratitude to the frontline warriors like doctors, nurses, mediamen, security personnel and others for their dedicated service even in the face of the deadly pandemic sweeping over the globe, our Correspondent adds.
People in Udalguri district came out to the balcony of their houses and started beating cymbals, tolling of bells, blowing sangkha, clapping hands, beating drums and chanting naam-kirtan with dhol and occasional ululating by the womenfolk.
IN GAURIPUR: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s appeal, the people of greater Gauripur area irrespective of caste and creed observed Janata curfew spontaneously today, our Correspondent adds.
All the shops and commercial establishments remained closed while NH-31 and other streets of the historic town were deserted.
Janata curfew was also observed at Golokganj, Agomani, Satrasal and Halakura areas of the district.
IN JORHAT AND MAJULI: Responding to the PM�s call for observing Janata curfew today from 7 am to 9 pm by staying indoors, people in Jorhat district, except those involved in essential services, complied, our Staff Correspondent reports.
Policemen patrolled the streets on vehicles and also on foot and sent back anyone found moving outside their homes unnecessarily.
Majuli too observed Janata curfew in the Brahmaputra river island district.
At 5 pm, people in their courtyard and balconies clapped their hands, played traditional instruments, banged kitchen utensils and blowed into conch shells for over 15 minutes to cheer on the frontline workers fighting to halt the march of Covid-19. Bursting of firecrackers were also heard in certain localities.
IN HAILAKANDI: In all, 155 persons have been sent to home quarantine in Hailakandi district during the last couple of days to prevent suspected infection from coronavirus, our Correspondent stated.
The Joint Director of Health Services here, Dr Ramesh Chandra Dwivedy disclosed that 155 persons who came from outside the State during the last few days have been kept under home isolation, while two persons who had been discharged by Silchar Medical College and Hospital on March 18 have also been home quarantined as a precautionary step. No positive case has been detected in the district so far.
Dr Dwivedy said that undertaking has been obtained from persons coming from other states and abroad that they would not step out of their homes and maintain safe distance from their family members during the incubation period, failing which legal action would be initiated against them.
�Since the contagious virus spreads through physical contact, social distancing is an effective measure to contain its spread by avoiding contact during the incubation period of the virus,� said Dr Dwivedy.
Meanwhile, Janata curfew was observed in Hailakandi district too. The town and other parts of the district wore a deserted look with commercial establishments and markets closed, except those dealing in essential items. All modes of transport remained off the roads.
Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli stressed on social distancing to break the chain of infection. �As we are now in a crucial phase, I appeal to the people once again to remain indoors and follow self-imposed curfew for sometime to prevent the virus from spreading,� appealed Jalli.
Altogether, 86 surveillance teams of the Health Department, ASHA workers and supervisers fanned out across the district and visited the homes of people who had come from outside Assam.
The district administration is keeping a close eye on the people coming from outside by buses and trains with screening carried out. So far, 532 passengers have been screened during the past four days.
ADC EL Faihraem said that the administration would soon take stern action against persons coming from outside and who have so far not voluntarily reported his or her arrival to the nearest health centre or police station under Section 270 of the IPC for concealing information and other provisions of IPC (read with The Assam COVID-19 Regulations, 2020).
�To prevent spread of this fatal virus, we are working on a war footing. Isolation ward has been set up together with quarantine facility. Screening is being done. I urge the persons with a history of travel in last 14 days to a country or area from where Covid-19 has been rampant to voluntarily report to the nearest health centre or police station or else we will be forced to act against such persons for concealing facts under Section 270 of IPC and other relevant laws,� he added.
From suspending prayers involving large gatherings, including Friday Namaj to disallowing individuals and organisations from entering hospital premises, to imposing Section 144 and banning sale of chopped fish and meat, the administration has taken a slew of measures to contain the spread of the virus. The administration has closed down weekly markets to prevent large gatherings and allowed them to run on a daily basis from 9 am to 12 noon. The traders were told not to hoard essentials and the people to purchase only necessary items.
CLOSURE NOTICE: In view of the threat posed by novel coronavirus outbreak all over the globe, and to take all precautionary measures to stop the virus from spreading further, the Khetan Group of Companies has closed its offices under Neccon Power and Infra Ltd, North Eastern Cables Pvt Ltd, Rungajan Tea Estate and Tea Factory and Kaziranga University from March 23 till 31, a press note issued by Basant Khetain stated.