As the first case of COVID-19 has been reported from the State of Manipur in the Northeast, the region which was already on war footing to fight the contagious disease, has undertaken a series of additional measures. The all eight States of the region will be under complete lockdown by March 25.
In Assam, the lockdown began at 6 pm on March 24, whereas Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura were already under lockdown. Meghalaya has put several restrictions and lockdown of three days followed by an open day to be followed by three days lockdown again. Sikkim will enter complete lockdown from 6 am on March 25.
In Assam Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has been visiting every hospital and medical colleges in the State to take stock of the preparedness. Addressing the media on Monday evening in a press conference at the Janata Bhawan in Dispur, the minister said that if required normal patients undergoing treatment in the government hospitals will be shifted to private hospitals to facilitate treatment of COVID-19 patients in the government hospitals.
The State government have also identified university hostels to convert them into hospitals if the need arises in the near future.
The State government of Assam has also made it clear that any violation of lockdown will be dealt with strictly. In case of any violation, the violator can be fined and jailed for a period of 6 months extending up to 2 years.
During the lockdown, however, across the region grocery shops, petrol pumps and medical stores will remain open. The Assam government has advised people to do grocery shopping only in their own locality and anyone who will travel more than a kilometre for grocery shopping will be treated as a violator.
Sources in the State government have informed that if required curfew will also be imposed in certain localities. They have also said that gathering of more than four people will not be allowed in any grocery shops.
Meanwhile, in Manipur after the first case of COVID-19, the government has imposed a curfew in Imphal city.
Along with the Centre, Assam has also announced strict action against rumour-mongering as there are reports of several anti-social elements trying to create panic among the masses.