Itanagar, July 11: The Arunachal Pradesh government has turned down the request for a week-long total lockdown in the state capital from July 12 but suggested a slew of measures to check the spike in COVID-19 cases.
In a letter to Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Capital Deputy Commissioner Talo Potom on Saturday sought approval for a total lockdown for a week from Monday, citing the rise in COVID-19 cases. He said that in view of the rise in the cases in the Capital region, the administration convened a meeting on Friday with all the stakeholders, who recommended total lockdown as per the suggestion of the Health Department to contain the spread of the virus.
Health and Family Welfare Principal Secretary Sharat Chauhan wrote back to the DC, saying a meeting was held on Saturday with the State Health Task Force (SHTF) and officials of the Health Department over the matter.
"In the meeting, the positivity rate, active cases trend and the bed occupancy ratio in your district were discussed. It was observed by the SHTF that the positivity rate and the bed occupancy ratio display a slight upward trend but are yet to reach the threshold limits warranting enhanced containment measures (total lockdown) in ICC (Itanagar Capital Complex) district," Chauhan said.
The Health Secretary, however, advised the ICC authorities to continue identifying micro containment zones where the positivity rate is above 5 per cent and undertake effective containment or surveillance measures. The local authorities were also asked to enforce closure of shops and establishments on either side of the highway from Naharlagun to Hollongi on alternative days in the coming week and enforce Covid appropriate behaviour among the public strictly, including "no entry without masks in shops".
Following the directions, police started strictly enforcing the measures in the state capital. IGP (Law and Order) Chukhu Apa said that ten check-points were installed to check the violations. "We will ensure that the checkings are mobile and people not wearing masks challaned on the spot," he said, adding that six checking points were put up in Itanagar and four at Naharlagun.
He also said that most of the vehicles are plying without a valid registration number and sporting a tampered plate. Many irresponsible people do not wear helmets while driving, which is harmful as well as offensive, he added.