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2-Week Lockdown In Guwahati From Monday; Minister Says "Shop By Sunday"

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Assam today announced a "complete lockdown" in Guwahati and from Monday for the next two weeks after a sharp surge was recorded in the number of new coronavirus patients in the last ten days. Next week, only pharmacies and hospitals will be allowed to open in Guwahati, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said this afternoon as he stressed: "Please finish your shopping by Sunday."

"A complete lockdown will be observed across Guwahati for two weeks from Sunday midnight. For the first seven days, only pharmacies and hospitals will be open. Everything else will be shut," the 51-year-old minister said during a virtual press conference this afternoon.

A 12-hour night-curfew will be observed across rest of the state for the next two weeks, he added. Banks will be allowed to open for limited duration.

Air or rail tickets can be used as passes for travelers, Mr Sarma said, adding that he would review the situation next Friday to consider relaxations. "This was the only solution to break the chain of transmission," he said. 

Guwahati has recorded over 700 new infections since June 15, which prompted the state to take the decision. The health minister this afternoon indicated this may be the strictest lockdown the city has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

India announced one of the world's strictest lockdowns in the world to tackle the pandemic in March. However, shops selling groceries or other shops selling essentials were not shut during the last three months. 

With over 6,300 coronavirus cases, Assam is one of the worst-affected states in the northeast. Nine deaths linked to the highly contagious illness have been recorded so far, according to the Union Health Ministry.

India's corornavirus tally soared to 4.9 lakh cases this morning after more than 17,000 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours.  


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