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Deserted roads, closed shops mark first day of lockdown in

Press Trust of India  |  Itanagar 

Much of Arunachal Pradesh remained indoors on Wednesday as streets were deserted and business establishments shut on the first day of the nationwide lockdown announced by the Centre to combat the growing stranglehold of COVID-19.

Public and private vehicles were off the roads in the state capital, barring those carrying people who had ventured out to fetch essential commodities like food and medicine.

Police personnel have been deployed in strategic locations in Itanagar to restrict movement of people, Capital SP Tumme Amo said.

"The police department is trying its best to make sure the lockdown is adhered to for the greater safety of the people," Amo said.

Health department sources said all government and private hospitals in the state capital are open.

The Ramakrishna Mission Hospital, however, said it would close its Out Patient Department (OPD) services from Thursday until further notice in order to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu, in a video message, said the state government will ensure availability of essential commodities including medicines, petroleum products and LPG during the lockdown period.

"The chief secretary is in constant touch with all the deputy commissioners through video conferencing. For protection of frontline workers, the government has dispatched all necessary equipment, including gloves, masks, hand sanitisers and infrared thermometers to all the districts," Khandu said.

He also said the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to provide an amount of Rs 1,000 to all the BPL card holders during the lockdown period, besides paying salaries to government officials and wages to casual labourer.

Talking to PTI, Food & Civil Supplies (F&CS) Minister Kamlung Mosang asserted that there would be no shortage in the supply of rice -- the staple food for Arunachalees.

F&CS Director Liyon Borang said the rice stock is sufficient to last for about four months.

Meanwhile, six persons were arrested in East Siang district for violating the lockdown orders, while 38 people were levied a fine of Rs 33,000 for flouting traffic restrictions, police said.

Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Komkar Dulom, in a notification, asked shopkeepers not to resort to hoarding of essential commodities, cautioning that defaulters would be booked under relevant laws.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 21:10 IST