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Nagaland declares indefinite lockdown

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, March 22 - The Nagaland government has ordered indefinite closure of all shops and business establishments, except those dealing with essential services, with effect from Sunday midnight.

In an order issued on Sunday, Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said that except for pharmacies, petrol pumps, grocery shops selling food grains, vegetables, daily use items and other essential commodities and media offices, all business houses will remain closed till further orders.

The order said all government offices, both central and state, except district administration, police and security forces, fire and emergency services, medical, home department, postal services, Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority, National Informatics Centre, power, public health and engineering, food and civil supplies, finance, treasury and accounts, banks/ATMs, All India Radio and Doordarshan, will remain closed till further orders.

The government has asked all administrative heads of departments, and heads of offices to form a core group of officers and staff to attend to urgent and essential services. It said all other government employees should be available on call.

All commercial passenger vehicles, both public and private, like buses, taxis, autorickshaws and two-wheeler taxis have been asked not to ply till further notice. Vehicles carrying inter-state and transit passengers will be allowed till midnight of Monday.

The government has also restricted movement, except those coming out of homes for procurement and distribution of essential commodities, availing essential services, medical facilities and other basic needs.

The order said all inter-state entry points will be sealed except for movement of essential commodities, security forces, medical equipment and supplies and goods vehicles transiting the state. However, drivers and attendants of the vehicles transiting the state will be subject to screening as per laid down protocol, the order added.

Any person or groups violating the order will be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

PTI adds from Kohima: Nagaland on Sunday joined the rest of the country in observing Janata Curfew, amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases in the country.

People chose to stay indoors and vehicles remained off the roads, while shops and eateries, except medical stores, were shut. The Sunday devotional service in many churches also witnessed thin attendance. Some churches remained closed, while a few delivered messages through social media.

The government had made it clear that Sunday�s curfew will be voluntary. Roads, especially in state capital Kohima and commercial hub Dimapur wore a deserted look.

The state government on Saturday enforced closing down of all crowded market places which do not have the scope of maintaining social distance till further orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Nagaland Joint Christian Forum also observed Sunday as a �Day of Prayer� for the people infected in various countries and for the leaders to have the wisdom to take measures to curb the spread of the virus.

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