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Coronavirus: Arunachal Pradesh orders lockdown from Monday evening till March 31

PTI | Itanagar | Updated: 23-03-2020 18:30 IST | Created: 23-03-2020 18:30 IST
Coronavirus: Arunachal Pradesh orders lockdown from Monday evening till March 31

The Arunachal Pradesh government has announced a lockdown in the state from Monday evening till March 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said. All essential services will continue during the period, according to a notification issued by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on Sunday night.

The government will enforce "complete safety restrictions" from 5 pm on Monday till March 31, he said, adding that the step has been taken as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the virus in the state. The government is keeping strict vigil in all districts of the state that share border with China, the officials said.

Earlier, it had suspended weekly markets along the Indo-Myanmar border at Nampong in Changlang district. "No public transport services, including operation of taxis, autorickshaws, will be permitted except transport of all kinds to and from hospitals, airport, helipad, railway stations, and goods carriers carrying food and essential commodities," the notification said.

All shops, commercial establishments, offices, factories and workshops shall also remain shut, it said. People are required to stay at home and carry out only basic services while strictly following social distancing guidelines, the chief secretary said.

Any gathering of more than 10 people will be prohibited in public places, while employees of private companies are required to stay at home and shall be treated as on duty and will be paid in full, the notification said. "Any person found violating this order shall be prosecuted as per the relevant provisions of law," Kumar said.

Supplies of foodgrains, groceries, vegetable, fruits, meat, fish, bread, milk have been exempted from the purview of the notification. Medical services, pharmacies and banks and ATMs have also been exempted. Courts and correctional services, food and civil supplies and other government agencies on duty, police, armed forces and paramilitary forces have also been kept out of the purview of the lockdown.

The chief secretary urged people not to panic and assured them that the state has sufficient stock of essential commodities that will last at least 45 days. "We urge people to remain calm and not to resort to panic buying as no essential commodities are restricted. Senior officials have been deputed in each district as nodal officers to follow up on the implementation of the lockdown," Kumar said.

A large number of students studying outside the state are returning to Arunachal Pradesh daily, which may spread the disease, he said. No positive case of COVID-19 has been detected so far in the state, he added.

Meanwhile, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), has asked all its staff members returning from leave to stay in quarantine for 14 days in separate accommodations. Anyone with any aliment is given special care by doctors as directed by the BRO headquarters, BRO project chief engineer Brig A S Chonker said.


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