Even though Assam has not reported any positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case yet, the government is monitoring and tracking people entering the State from outside who may sneak in through multiple roads connecting with Mizoram, which has detected one COVID-19 patient.
The three Barak Valley districts of Hailakandi, Cachar and Karimganj share a border with Mizoram. Apart from the main entry points, there are several roads that connect both the states.
Assam Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, who has been entrusted with the responsibility to look after the three districts of Barak valley in view of coronavirus crisis, said the persons who have crossed over to South Assam’s Hailakandi district through dense jungles and hilly terrain bordering Mizoram must be quarantined either in quarantine facility or in schools.
Suklabaidya said arrangements must be made to ensure ration and other essentials to the daily wage earners, labourers, poor and marginalised segments of the society during the lockdown period.
The Minister held a high-level meeting with the Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police and heads of concerned departments.
Suklabaidya instructed the Hailakandi district administration to take all possible measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities through PDS and through retail and wholesale groceries.
The Minister directed the administration to keep a sharp watch on the dealers and on unscrupulous traders so that they cannot take advantage of the situation to create artificial scarcity and hike the prices of essentials. In this context, he suggested that the list containing the prices of wholesale and retail items must be widely circulated through social media as well as print and electronic media.
Suklabaidya said arrangements must be made to supply groceries to the doorstep of the people so that they need not have to come out of their homes to buy essentials.
He said the need of the hour is to ensure that people remain indoors as social distancing and avoiding gatherings are the panacea for preventing COVID-19 from spreading further. “We have to see to it that people get essentials, including medicine and nothing more than that,” he equipped.
The Minister asked the police administration to act firmly against those flouting government orders with impunity during the lockdown period.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have pleaded with the people with folded hands to stay at home and remain safe during the lockdown period so that the dreaded virus can be contained. But if someone violates the government orders, then the administration has no other option but to tackle the situation with an iron hand. Saving the lives of the people is our prime concern and we cannot allow anyone to put the lives of others at peril,” he asserted.
Photo credit: @assampolice