GUWAHATI, March 19 - The city wore a deserted look on Thursday with fewer people venturing out to the streets. The city buses were seen carrying fewer passengers despite today being a working day, and bus stands and fuel depots in various areas were less crowded compared to other week days.
There has been no positive case for coronavirus in the State and region as a whole till date, but there is subdued panic among the people and it seems people are not taking any chances with the death toll in India rising steadily. Many people have been seen wearing masks of different makes in the last few days.
A source in the Guwahati city traffic police said the flow of vehicles, both commercial and private, was lesser in number in the city.
�There was no such major traffic snarl in any stretch of the city during the day. Only during evening hours, some stretches of the city reported traffic congestion. However, it was less in comparison to other days,� the source added.
Roadside eateries of the city, shops and malls also saw minimal number of customers.
�With the coronavirus threat mounting, the sales and footfall are continuously decreasing. Eateries have been getting fewer customers in the last seven days or so,� an eatery owner said.
All the parks under GMDA and GMC have already been closed to prevent mass gatherings.
The All Assam Motor Transport Association (AAMTA) secretary general Pradip Das said that around 70 per cent of the private buses were off the road today.
�Due to the coronavirus threat, people are not coming out of their homes. The city buses which are plying on the roads have been getting less money as well from the last couple of days. Many drivers have left for their homes already,� he said.
�There are lesser government-run buses as well,� he added.
The district transport authority has already directed city bus operators to take all the necessary preventive steps.
�We are providing soaps and Dettol in the buses. We are not being able to provide hand sanitisers as there is a shortage of stock in the market. The buses, however, are being thoroughly cleaned in the morning and in the evening,� Das said.