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Nagaland’s 7-day lockdown keeps citizens indoors

Dimapur lockdown
Deserted street in Dimapur on Saturday during the total lockdown

DIMAPUR/KOHIMA, MAY 15: Nagaland’s commercial hub, Dimapur, today witnessed very few people and commuters coming out of their homes, as the total lockdown in Nagaland, which began Thursday evening was fully enforced in the district.

Only shops in the exempted list remained open. Vehicular movement was also restricted to only those with permission.
On Friday evening, Dimapur Police had erected barricades at numerous junctions and checked unnecessary movement of vehicles and people. They continued the same on Saturday morning.
Most policemen on duty at various tri-junctions stopped 2-wheelers and other vehicles to inquire why they were coming out during lockdown. Vehicles carrying essential commodities were also inspected at various locations.
Just a week ago, when the district was declared a ‘containment zone’, people hardly followed the guidelines issued by the district administration. However, with the enforcement of total lockdown now, most people are choosing to stay indoors.
Banks, pharmacies, groceries, vegetable shops, hotels & restaurants were open but had very few customers. The National Highway from Purana Bazaar to Chumukedima wore a deserted look as almost all shops on both sides of the road were closed. However, few vehicles moved on the road.
After 12 Noon, Dimapur town looked deserted as all permitted shops downed their shutters. Only few pharmacies remained open. With the uniformed personnel ensuring strict enforcement of lockdown restrictions, the public chose not to venture out.
An elderly man at Khermahal area said that the lockdown measures may be a good initiative of the State Government but it has to be enforced strictly. He also lauded the police personnel, who were stopping the vehicles and checking as to where they were going.
While some businessmen expressed displeasure at the closure of shops, there were some who felt that lockdown was the need of the hour, considering the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Dimapur.
A pharmacy owner told Nagaland Page that the number of customers has reduced drastically in the past few days, even though pharmacies have been allowed to open in the ‘containment zone’ directives as well as lockdown guidelines.
He also said that after 12 Noon, they would seldom find any customers.

nagaland gate
Police personnel checking vehicles entering Nagaland at New Field Check Gate on Saturday (Page Photo)

When Nagaland Page visited the New Field Check Gate after 12 Noon today, everything was normal as there was no restriction on vehicular movement. Most vehicles from Dimapur side easily entered Karbi Anglong although neighbouring Lahorijan, Khatkhati and Bokajan areas were declared as containment zones from Saturday morning.
Police personnel manning the check gate stopped vehicles entering Nagaland, and on verification allowed entry to those from the exempted category, while others were sent back.
However, one could not see any kind of screening done on passengers of the vehicles or their vehicles being sanitised upon entering Dimapur at the Check Gate, although an order issued by the district administration a couple of weeks ago had directed screening of people entering Nagaland through various entry points.
As the state-wide lockdown began on Friday, various colonies at Dimapur began their own “lockdown”, issuing directives to be followed by the people in their respective colonies. In some areas, the entry to the colony was barricaded while in some villages, volunteers manned the entry gates to check people trying to enter the village.

Kohima lockdown
PHQ junction at Kohima during the total lockdown on Saturday (Page Photo)

Kohima: Following the imposition of week-long total lockdown to curb spread of COVID-19 throughout Nagaland since Friday evening, the State capital Kohima wore a complete deserted look on the first day today.
The District Task Force Kohima has only permitted essential services, like medical and construction works.
All shops, except pharmacies are closed as the administration has ordered opening of only groceries and essential commodity shops on May 17, 19 and the last day of the lockdown I.e. May 21. The administration has deployed police personnel and Dobashis in strategic locations to check the unnecessary movement of people.
Volunteers in some colonies have set up barricades restricting entry of outsiders while also putting up banners to strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviors, specially wearing of face mask at all times.
PRO and Additional SP of Kohima, Talisunep Imchen said that unlike the previous lockdowns, this time people have been very cooperative and supportive as only those for emergency medical need and with genuine reasons are moving out.
“The response has been very good on the first day of the total lockdown with people extending full cooperation,” he said.

Maintaining that the main markets are open only for wholesalers of essential commodities, he expressed hope that people would continue to support the fight against the virus by following the laid down norms during the lockdown period. (Page News Service)