In an unprecedented move, the Assam government has said all permanent residents of the state who are stranded in foreign countries due to the coronavirus pandemic would be provided a one-time financial assistance of $2,000 (Rs 1.50 lakh) to help them in their sustenance in a foreign land until they can return home.
They have to be stranded in a foreign soil for a month to be eligible for this special help.
"We have decided to transfer $2,000 to residents of the state who are stranded abroad for a month and are unable to return home due to the global shutdown following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak," said Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Mr Sarma, however, clarified that the financial assistance is not for non-resident Indians or people who have been working or studying for a substantial period of time and have houses or hostels to stay in.
"We will be notifying an email ID tomorrow (Saturday) for Assamese people stranded because of shutdown of communication due to the pandemic. We will transfer $2,000 to their accounts if they went abroad in the last 30 days according to the date of stamping in their passports," Mr Sarma added.
From Saturday, only 50 per cent of employees will come to government offices, while the rest 50 per cent will work from home. This will rotate as per a new roster. Essential service won't fall in this rotation system.
The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election in Assam scheduled to take place on April 4 has been postponed.
Assam seeks to maintain strict social distancing until at least April 5. A critical phase for Assam from March 22 till April 4, Mr Sarma added.
"From Sunday, Assam will start stamping all passengers for home quarantine after coming to Assam in whatever means of transport. All private establishments will have to have soap and water or sanitizer at their shops, else we will close them down," Mr Sarma further added.