Bihar announces fresh curbs; night curfew from 6 pm to arrest Covid-19 surge
Failing to arrest the continuous surge of Covid-19 cases in the state, the Crisis Management Group (CMG) of the Bihar government, headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar decided to pre-pone the timings of night curfew from 9 pm to 6 pm from April 29. The curfew will remain in place till 6 am.
In a series of measures announced on Wednesday, it has been decided to order closure of all shops from 4 pm. The government had earlier on April 9 ordered closure of shops from 6 pm. The present order will be in force till May 15.
With the marriage season on, no curbs have been put on marriage ceremonies, but the government has further cut down the guest list from 100 to 50 and for the last rites it has been reduced to 20 from 50. “DJs in marriages have been banned and all government and semi government offices will now function with only 25% of their strength. In case of marriage ceremonies, the night curfew will be effective from 10 pm,” said principal secretary (health and disaster management department), Pratyaya Amrit. “All offices will close by 4 pm from Thursday,” he added.
However, the government has decided to keep public transport (up to 50% of the capacity), industrial units, construction activities, e-commerce, health and health related services, carts used by fruit and vegetable vendors, agriculture and allied services, restaurants (take away system till 9 pm) out of the purview of the restrictions.
“The district administration will ensure that vegetable vendors are placed in a staggered manner to prevent crowding and they can impose restrictions on mandis, if required,” said Amrit.
The state reported 13,374 positive cases on Tuesday and 84 deaths in last 24 hours. “The way Covid-19 cases are increasing, the active cases may reach up to 3 lakhs as per a conservative estimate. The government has now decided to get the last rites done from its own resources of all Covid-19 related deaths. The urban development department and rural development departments have been asked to depute officers for this,” said development commissioner, Amir Subhani.
“The health department and district administrations have been asked to ensure that all infrastructure like beds, piped oxygen supply, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, shall be made ready to deal with the situation likely to arise in case of further surge in cases,” he added.
Subhani said that with an estimate of 3 lakh active cases, it has also been decided to ensure proper strength of allopathic, Unanai, Aayush, doctors as well as dentists, para medical staff, nurses, lab technicians and recruit people through walk-in interviews on one-year contract. “The government can also take the services of retired doctors and strictly use Section 144 to enforce regulations,” he added.
The district administrations have also been asked to form containment zones as per requirement and alert people through public address system, the development commissioner said.
The government has also decided to get the RT-PCR tests done of all policemen who had gone for election duty in West Bengal and other states and the health department has been asked to ensure availability of Remdesivir for patients.