Srinagar, Jan 20: Amid unabated upsurge in covid-19 cases, government on Thursday imposed 64-hours weekly lockdown beginning Friday 1400 hours till further orders.
“There will be complete restriction on non-essential movement in the entire J&K from every Friday 2.00 pm to Monday 6.00 am, henceforth,” Chairman State Executive Committee and Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta said in an order, amending the previous order issued last week.
Amid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the entire J&K and the presence of variant of concern (Omicron), the State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 ordered: “That there shall be a complete restriction on non-essential movement in the entire UT of J&K from every Friday 2.00 pm to Monday 6.00 am, henceforth,” reads an order issued here by the Chief secretary and chairman SEC.”
“Pregnant Women Employees will be exempted from physical attendance. They shall be allowed to work from home,” the order reads further, adding, “These directions shall be applicable till further orders.”
There has been surge in covid-19 cases in J&K. On January 1, J&K reported 169 cases, 165 cases on January 2, 178 on January 3, 199 on January 4, 418 on January 5, 349 on January 6, 542 on January 7, 655 on January 8, 687 on January 9, 706 on January 10, 1148 on January 11, 1695 on January 12, 1966 on January 13, 2456 on January 14, 3251 on January 15, 3499 on January 16, 2817 on January 17, 4651 on January 18 and 5818 on January 19 and 5992 on January 20.
The SEC underlined that Enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) was critical 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.
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.”