January 23, 2022

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Weekend restrictions back in J-K amid surge in Covid cases

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday imposed “complete restriction on non-essential movement” during weekends in the Union Territory amid a surge in Covid cases that rose by 2,456 a day earlier.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday imposed “complete restriction on non-essential movement” during weekends in the Union Territory amid a surge in Covid cases that rose by 2,456 a day earlier. Announcing the decision of the State Executive Committee (SEC), which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A K Mehta, officials said night curfew and online mode of teaching in schools and colleges will continue.

After a weekly review of the COVID-19 situation, Mehta said there was a need for additional steps besides continuing with the existing Covid containment measures in all districts given the uneven trend in daily cases as well as rising positivity rate. “There shall be a complete restriction on non-essential movement during weekends in entire Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehta said in his latest order.

However, asymptomatic people arriving in the Union Territory by air, rail and roads would not be required to undergo RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen test on arrival if they have a valid and verifiable final certificate report of COVID-19 vaccination or a valid verifiable negative RT-PCR report done within 72 hours of arrival. “RT-PCR or RAT Covid tests shall, however, be conducted on symptomatic incoming passengers by air, rail and road,” the order said.

Inner-state movement of passenger vehicles of State Road Transport Corporation and of private buses shall be permitted for fully vaccinated people with verifiable RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours or on-spot RAT test. The order said vaccinated people will be allowed entry to parks after due verification.

The SEC however reiterated that gathering of 25 people at any indoor or outdoor function or gathering up to 25 vaccinated people or 25 per cent of the authorised capacity, whichever is less, preferably in open spaces at banquet halls will be allowed. Cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, restaurants, clubs, gymnasiums and swimming pools are permitted to continue operation at 25 per cent of the authorised capacity.

Jammu and Kashmir recorded the highest single-day rise of Covid cases this year on Friday when 2,456 fresh infections pushed the tally to 3,52,623, while five fatalities took the death linked to the viral disease to 4,557. The SEC directed all deputy commissioners to intensify testing and constitute teams to enforce Covid appropriate behaviour.

The Home Secretary will monitor the enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour closely and submit a report to the chairperson of the SEC daily basis, the order said. District magistrates can order the setting up of as many micro containment zones as needed.

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