Assam announces fresh curbs, only fully vaccinated allowed in public places

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday that the number of Covid cases in the state during the ongoing third wave would be much higher than the previous two waves, and by January-end, the figures will reach the peak.

Announcing new restrictions and detailing the state government’s preparedness to tackle the situation, Sarma said that those people, including government employees, who have not yet taken the second dose of Covid vaccine would not be allowed to visit public places, including government offices, restaurants and commercial establishments, or use public transports.

Only hospitals would be exempted from these norms, he added.

“If the managements of commercial establishments allow non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated people, they would be fined Rs 25,000,” the Chief Minister told the media.

Claiming that Assam is in a good position logistically, Sarma said that the state now has around 9,000 Covid beds, 2,633 beds with oxygen facility, and 1,000 Covid ICU beds and it would soon create 25,000 additional beds in the Covid care centres across the state.

He said that the night curfew timing has been advanced to 10 p.m. from 11.30 p.m. and it would continue till 6 a.m.

Wearing of masks is compulsory and the police and other authorities would fine people found without masks, he said.

The Chief Minister also said that all schools up to Class 5 in the districts and Class 8 in Guwahati would remain closed from Saturday till January 30. Classes 9 to 11 would be conducted on a rotational basis on every alternate day. Colleges and universities would function as usual.

Sarma said that the government is putting maximum thrust on vaccinating more people as it is the best way to minimise the spread of the virus.

Around 55 lakh people in Assam have not taken the second dose of the vaccine, he said.

In case of marriage ceremonies, meetings and various other social functions and events, the number of guests would be restricted, and for travellers in airports and railway stations, testing would be compulsory if a person is not fully vaccinated.

Samples of the children below 15 years would also be tested, the Chief Minister said, adding that administering the booster dose would start from January 10 for frontline/healthcare workers, police personnel and senior citizens who had taken their second dose nine months ago.

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