Covid19 Surge: Weekend lockdown returns; Night curfew to remain in force

Srinagar, Jan 15: Amid surge in covid-19 cases, the Government has ordered “complete restriction” on non-essential movement during weekends in entire J&K.

According to an order by State Executive Committee headed by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, there night curfew from 9 p.m. to 6a.a. shall continue to remain in force in all districts along with the complete restriction on non-essential movement.

The decision was taken following a detailed review of the current Covid-19 situation in Jammu and Kashmir by the Chief Secretary with the ACS (Finance), ACS (Health and Medical Education), Principal Secretary (Home), Principal Secretary (PWD- R&B), ADG/IGs, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other officers of Jammu and Kashmir on January 14.

“It was observed that there is a need for additional measures besides continuing with the existing COVID containment measures in all Districts in view of the uneven trend observed in daily Covid cases as well as rising positivity rate.”

The SEC underlined that Enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) wascritical in determining the need for additional restrictions.

“All the Government Department(s)/Office(s) shall minimise conducting in-person meetings/interactions etc. All Administrative Secretaries/ Head of the Departments)/ Institution(s) shall ensure optimal use of virtual mode for conducting official meetings etc,” reads an order by SEC, a copy of which lies with GNS.

To reduce the rate of transmission within J&K, the SEC said that all efforts shall be made by authorities through active involvement of PRIs, Community Leaders, Market Associations and Federations.

“IEC campaign for containing surge in Covid cases/3rd Wave shall be undertaken immediately by all District Magistrates (Chairperson, District Disaster Management Authorities) in their respective jurisdictions highlighting the necessity of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).”

The SEC reiterated that maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor or outdoor gathering shall be strictly restricted to 25.

“Banquet Halls in all the Districts of J&K are permitted to allow gathering up to 25 vaccinated persons (with verifiable RT-PCR or RAT not older than 72 hours) or 25% of the authorised capacity (whichever is less), preferably in open spaces.”

It ordered that cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, restaurants, clubs, gymnasiums and swimming pools are permitted to function at 25% of the authorised capacity with due precautions such as CAB and adherence to SOP
As regards the education institutions, all Colleges, Schools, Polytechnics, ITIs, Coaching Centres for Civil Services/Engineering/NEET etc. have been asked to adopt online medium of teaching. “There shall be no in-person teaching.”

Also night Curfew shall continue to remain in force in all Districts from 9 pm to 6 am with complete restriction on non-essential movement.

“There shall also be complete restriction on non-essential movement during weekends in entire J&K,” the order reads, adding, “All Deputy Commissioners shall intensify testing and ensure full utilisation of available RT-PCR and RAT capacities. There shall be no drop in testing levels.”

The Deputy Commissioners have been also asked focus on the positivity rates of the Medical-Blocks under their jurisdictions. “Intensified measures related to Covid management and restriction of activities shall be undertaken in these Blocks.”

The DCs have been also asked to keep active track of the positivity rates in their respective jurisdictions. “Strict perimeter control (Micro-Containment Zone) shall be implemented for localities where Covid-19 Positive Cases number reaches 3 and above. This shall be done to ensure no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.”

Inter State movement of passenger transport of SRTC or Stage Contract Private Passenger Buses have been permitted for fully vaccinated person or persons with verifiable RT-PCR not older than 72 hours or based on RAT on-spot with strict compliance with CAB.

“Entry into Parks shall be permitted to vaccinated persons only with due verification. Surprise checks shall be conducted by inspection teams to assess the implementation and initiate corrective measures.”

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