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Warning to quarantine norms violators in Assam

The state’s Covid-19 count surged to 259 on Friday

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati

  • Published 23.05.20, 3:56 AM
  • Updated 23.05.20, 5:15 AM
Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visits MMCH to oversee smooth transfer of 20 patients.
Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visits MMCH to oversee smooth transfer of 20 patients. (Twitter/@himantabiswa)

Dispur has ordered the police to slap non-bailable charges on those found flouting quarantine norms as Assam’s Covid-19 count surged to 259 on Friday. The decision was made after several people reportedly violated home quarantine and came outside.

The state government has announced that those coming from outside would have to undergo “very” strict quarantine for at least 14 days.

According to the health department guidelines, when one member in a family is in home quarantine, the entire family will be considered to follow the protocol and the residence will be a containment zone. Nobody will be allowed to move out. The local administration will facilitate delivery of essential items to the family during the period.

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The state government has constituted local bodies in all districts to ensure nobody in home quarantine flouts protocols. In case anybody flouts quarantine, the police will immediately register a case with non-bailable charges.”

On Friday, Sarma inaugurated an ICU at Nagaon civil hospital for Covid-19 patients.

A senior police officer said it would take stern action against flouting of quarantine norms. “Stringent sections like Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the IPC will be slapped on anyone violating the quarantine protocols,” he said.

Meanwhile, with hundreds of stranded people entering Assam daily, the quarantine facilities are starting to fill up. Complaints like unhygienic conditions, low-quality food and lack of cleaning staff in the quarantine centres have started to surface from several areas. However, Sarma said such complaints are illogical.

Expressing his displeasure, he said, “Many people in quarantine behave like they are attending a feast. One can’t expect so much luxury at this hour. With the numbers going up randomly, cleaning staff are also worrying. So, those in quarantine centres need to do self-help.”

On Friday, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited Dibrugarh and inspected arrangements at the quarantine facilities. “With many people homebound for Assam, it is imperative to ramp up quarantine and screening facilities to contain the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

“In this crucial period, I urge all not to panic, maintain social distancing, lockdown and quarantine rules. Violation of these rules will put all our lives in danger. We are committed towards the safety of the people of Assam and will take strict action against such violators,” Sonowal said.

Over 37,000 people have returned so far and more are expected to return with resumption of trains and flights.

Additional reporting by Suroj Barman in Haflong

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