Assam will penalise people who refused to adhere to social distancing protocols in the latest bid to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This comes after people in large numbers thronged the vegetable markets in Guwahati on March 27th, 2020 amid lockdown to control the spread of virus.
Assam government stated that anyone found standing in a queue, or sitting, less than a meter (3.3 feet) from another person in a public place will attract penal provision under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, provides penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act. Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
People in large numbers ventured out of their homes and gathered at the vegetable markets in Guwahati without maintaining social distancing.
The administartion had earlier decided to arrange selling of vegetables at seven designated points in Guwahati from March 27th, 2020 onwards.
The designated vegetable points were set up at Six Mile, Ulubari, Ganeshguri, Fancy Bazar, Narengi, Maligaon, and Silpukhuri. Hundreds of people were seen purchasing vegetables, oblivious to social distancing.
Following which the Kamrup Metro district administration decided to temporarily shut down all vegetable wholesale and retail outlets in Guwahati.
Photo credit: @GolaghatPolice