ACCI pleads Govt not to extend lockdown

ITANAGAR, Jul 31: The Arunachal Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) today pleaded the State Govt not to extend the ongoing lockdown in Itanagar Capital Complex beyond August 3, considering the overall interest of the business community. It also suggested the Govt to adopt the ‘home quarantine model’ for Covid-19 positive patients.

Strongly pitching for “no further extension of lockdown in the state post 3rd August, 2020”, the apex traders’ body, in a representation to the Chief Secretary said: “The unwarranted situation created in Arunachal Pradesh by nationwide lockdown since 25th March, 2020 followed by extended lockdowns in the ICR with the twin objective of breaking the chain (of infection) and augmenting the infrastructure in the health sector, has hit hard the entire segment of business community, especially the daily wagers, petty traders and road-side vendors and hospitality and food sectors.

During the long span of the lockdown, several businesses have either collapsed or are at its verge (of collapse). With no support from the Government, business community is struggling…As majority of the people in the ICR depends on the business community, it is important that their wellbeing is taken care of,” it said.

Further noting that “extension of lockdown would be detrimental” for the business community as well as for the people of the state, the ACCI said that lockdown will do more damage than the solution it's assumed to provide. It, therefore, appealed the Govt to ‘discontinue’ any further extension of lockdown in the ICR and in the state with certain exceptions for containment zones.

If needed, closures can be introduced on weekends, like that of neighbouring Assam, whereby the necessary tests can be undertaken in the suspected areas and also an acceptable opening and closing of shops be introduced preferably from 9 am to 5 pm. And in order to discourage over-crowding, Govt may introduce the odd-even method for the two, four-wheelers and heavy vehicles.

Given the recent spike in COVID-19 positive cases in the State which is likely to become even more acute in the coming days, ACCI said there is wide anticipation that the COVID Care facilities and quarantine centres would run short of space for admission of new positive patients….In such a situation, patients who do not require immediate medical attention especially those who are asymptomatic and between the age of 10-60 years, may be allowed to recover at home with strict COVID-19 home quarantine directives. This would not only result in saving of state fund required for installation of new quarantine centres but would also expedite recovery process as homely environment with good physical and dietary practices would be better than that of QCs, the ACCI opined while suggesting the Govt to adopt home isolation for positive patients with proper SOP, which has been successfully adopted in other parts of the country.

While claiming that the trading license, food license, pollution certificate, factory license, bar license, etc which were assured to be automatically renewed but still not been implemented, the ACCI requested that the Govt may issue the directives to concerned departments to do the same at the earliest. It also appealed the Govt to allow return of the staff of the business establishments.