With COVID-19 spreading rapidly in Guwahati that has at least 2,900 active cases, the Assam government has extended the two-week lockdown of Kamrup (Metro) district by seven more days. The lockdown has also been extended in Arunachal Pradesh's capital Itanagar and its adjoining areas. Meghalaya has decided to observe two days of total lockdown in state capital Shillong on July 13 and 14.
In a notification, Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna directed "Commissioner of Police, City and District Magistrate Kamrup Metropolitan district to enforce Lockdown in all the areas" under the district.
The two-week lockdown in Guwahati, enforced from June 29 to Midnight of July 12, has been extended "from 6 pm on July 12 and will remain in force till 7 pm on July 19."
The notification comes hours after Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a media interaction said the state health department had moved Kamrup (Metro) district administration for a week-long extension after a discussion with people.
"The various nagarik samaj (civil society) had suggested a two-week-long extension, but we (health department) have requested the district administration for only a week's extension. Off course prerogative to decide lies on the Deputy Commissioner with whom I have also suggested taking the opinions of the legislators and other stakeholders," Mr Sarma told reporters in Dispur on Saturday.
The lockdown was enforced from June 29 after the city recorded 600 COVID-19 cases without any travel history and will end on Sunday.
Since June 24, a total of 5,778 positive cases have been detected in Kamrup metro; at least 2,963 positive cases - 2,156 from COVID-19 care facilities and 807 in hospitals - are still undergoing treatment.
"We have 3,189 beds in COVID-19 care centres of which about 100 are vacant and about 972 beds in COVID hospitals of which over 100 are still vacant," Mr Sarma said.
A total of one lakh tests were conducted in the city of which 6,257 were antigen tests and the rest in RT-PCR. At least 1,304 in antigen tested positive, keeping the city's positive cases rate at 21 per cent.
"Post lockdown, the positivity in antigen tests has decreased from 30 to 16 per cent. We are hopeful that within a week's extension, we will be able to control the city's situation," Mr Sarma added.