COVID-19: 12-hour night curfew in Assam, Hyderabad market traders to shut shops for 8 days

With coronavirus cases on the rise, the Assam government announced a 12-hour night curfew across the state from Friday and a 14-day complete lockdown in Kamrup (Metro) district, of which Guwahati city is a part, from June 28 midnight while traders of Hyderabad’s largest wholesale market Begum Bazar decided to shut shops for eight days from Sunday.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Guwahati, the gateway to the northeast region, has reported 762 coronavirus cases since June 15, and 677 of them have no travel history, though many had come in contact with those returned to the state from outside.
“We are now left with no choice but to impose a complete lockdown for 14 days from June 28 midnight, and this time it will be very strict as no grocery shops will be allowed to open or supply of vegetables and other essentials will be permitted for the first seven days,” he told reporters in Guwahati.
Of the 276 cases reported in the state on Thursday, 133 were from Guwahati, he said.
A 12-hour night-curfew from 7 pm will be observed across the state from Friday, he added.
A complete lockdown will be enforced in other towns and municipal areas on weekends from June 27 every week till the COVID-19 outbreak is arrested, he said, adding lockdown situation in Guwahati will be reviewed after seven days from the enforcement of the restrictions.
The state has reported 6,646 COVID-19 cases so far. The number of active cases is now 2,601, while nine people have died of the disease.
The Begum Bazar in Hyderabad will remain shut for eight days from Sunday. An emergency executive committee meeting of the city Kirana Merchants Association held on Thursday took the decision after it came to light that more than 400 coronavirus cases have so far been reported in the Goshamahal division of the city corporation where the market area is located.
“The decision of closing down shops from June 28 to July 5 was taken as a precautionary measure. Some of our member merchants also tested positive of coronavirus. Keeping in view of the safety of our merchants, their family members and customers, we took the decision,” association president Laxminarayan Rathi told PTI.
Telangana has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases for the past several days with 920 people testing positive and five succumbing to the virus on Thursday, taking the total cases to 11,364 and the toll to 230.
Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh, who represents Goshamahal constituency, had on Thursday said so far five of his staff — two drivers and three gunmen — tested positive for coronavirus and the results of five more were awaited.
In Tamil Nadu, capital Chennai is under an intense 12-day lockdown from June 19. It has reported over 700 deaths so far.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has said all efforts will be made to control the spread of coronavirus in Bengaluru and there will be no fresh lockdown, as it asserted that it wants to carry on the developmental activities and COVID-19 management hand-in-hand.
The assertion from the government came as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa chaired a meeting with MLAs, MLCs and MPs of all parties from Bengaluru to discuss measures to control the virus, in the backdrop of spike in the number of cases.
Yediyurappa said there will not be any lockdown in the city as improving the economic situation of the state was also equally important.
“No lockdown, please put an end to such speculation. Government is in no mood for lock down. We want developmental works to happen along with the COVID management, as we don’t know when the pandemic will end,” Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who is also the in-charge of COVID management in the city, said.
As of Thursday evening, a total of 1,791 COVID-19 cases, including 78 deaths and 505 discharges, had been reported in the city while the states tally stood at 10,560 compared to just 3,408 cases as on June 1.
The Congress has been stressing on the need for a lockdown.
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that night curfew will remain in force between 10 pm and 5 am, instead of current 9 pm to 5 am, during the extended coronavirus lockdown till July 31. She also said she wants the metro services to resume from July 1, but only with 100 per cent seat occupancy, and no passenger standing. “We have decided that (from July 1) the night curfew hours will be from 10 pm to 5 am. We also want the Metro railways to resume services from July 1, by following all the precautionary and sanitisation norms and only with 100 per cent seat occupancy policy,” Banerjee told a press conference here. She said the Kolkata metro railways should ensure that it is running trains without any passenger standing or coaches being overcrowded.
Earlier this week, Banerjee had announced the extension of the ongoing lockdown till July 31.