The Assam government has decided to exclude all unvaccinated people from public places amid record numbers of COVID-19 infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant in the state.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that vaccination is not mandatory, but people who are not willing to get vaccinated must stay at home. "Vaccination against COVID-19 is not mandatory but the unvaccinated can't attend meetings, enter offices and restaurants. People not willing to get vaccinated can stay back at home," he said on Monday.
The state on Monday registered the sharpest-ever single-day spike it has seen since the start of the pandemic with 6,982 fresh coronavirus infections.
Public places in the state such as restaurants, markets, malls and other venues -- except hospitals -- will be out of bounds for people who have not taken both doses of the Covid vaccine, officials said.
Only double vaccinated government employees will be able to attend offices, the official order added.
"In Assam, if necessary, then the Covid-19 vaccination certificate will have to be shown. We cannot allow anti-public work to happen," the chief minister had said adding that in Guwahati, 100 per cent of people have got the first and second doses.
According to Assam government reports, the daily positivity rate of 7.87 per cent on Thursday, a day before the Bihu festivity, rose to 10.75 per cent on Monday night while it was only 0.77 per cent on January 1. Eleven deaths were recorded during this period, the sharpest surge in daily deaths in six months.
The active Covid cases in the state rose to 23,948 on Monday night. The rise in cases comes after the statewide celebrations for the harvest festival of Bihu. Over the last two weeks, Assam has seen over 25,000 fresh cases.
On the vaccination front, a total of 4,00,16,105 doses have been administered in Assam. As many as 2,03,392 people were vaccinated on Monday, down from 37,122 shots on Sunday.
Overall, more than 158 crore doses have been administered under the nationwide vaccination drive across India.