Guwahati/Imphal/Agartala, May 23 (IANS) Several northeastern states, including Assam, Manipur and Tripura have warned of strict action, including imprisonment, if anyone defies the quarantine protocols.
A spike in positive coronavirus cases, especially in Assam has led the state governments to further tighten the measures to check the spread of COVID-19.
With the return of thousands of people into Assam and other northeastern states from southern and western regions of India, 105 new cases have been reported in Assam alone in the past 24 hours, taking the state's total count to 319 on Saturday noon.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, his Manipur counterpart N. Biren Singh, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and other CMs of the northeastern region have warned the quarantine violators of action, urging the people to maintain the quarantine rules to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
Deb, who also holds the Health and Home portfolio, said punitive actions, including six-month imprisonment, would be taken if the people especially those who are coming into Tripura outside the state violate the rules.
He urged the people to observe "border curfew" along Tripura's 856 km international borders to prevent people from entering the northeastern state from Bangladesh, where since March 18, 432 people have succumbed to the dreaded virus and 30,205 people have been infected.
Tripura has so far reported 175 COVID-19 positive cases, including 161 Border Security Force personnel and their family members, with active cases count of 25.
In Imphal, the Manipur Chief Minister said those found violating the quarantine protocol would be prosecuted under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005. "This is a very serious issue. Returnees from different parts of India breaching the procedure would be arrested and put in jail. People returning to Manipur from others parts of India and abroad would have to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine", Singh told media.
Manipur was declared COVID-free by the Chief Minister on April 19, after two coronavirus patients recovered, but with the return of a number of people from southern and western region of India, 24 people have tested positive during the past two weeks.
The Assam government has launched "Ruthless Quarantine, With Big Heart" scheme to check the spread of coronavirus, under which suspected patients must remain in 7-day instiutional and 7-day home quarantine.