J&K Govt Reduces 64-Hr Weekend Covid Lockdown By 7 Hours

KO Photo by Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Amid concerns raised by traders over the hampering their businesses, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday reduced 64-hour long weekend Covid lockdown by seven hours.

A fortnight ago, the administration had imposed complete a restriction on non-essential movement from Fridays 2 pm to Mondays 6 am to rein in the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Traders of Jammu and Srinagar had sought a review of the weekend restrictions, stating they have already suffered huge economic losses owing to the outbreak of the pandemic.

The new lockdown restrictions on non-essential movement would be from every Friday 9 pm to Monday 6 am, said the State Executive Committee (SEC) which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A K Mehta to review the overall Covid situation.

This will come into effect from next weekend, the SEC said.

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

As regards the education institutions, the SEC ordered that all Colleges, Schools, Polytechnics, ITIs, Coaching Centres for Civil Services and Engineering or NEET etc. shall continue to adopt online medium of teaching. “There shall be no in-person teaching,” reads the order.

“Educational institutions shall be permitted to direct attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes only. The Head of the institution must ensure that guidelines related to social distancing and Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) are strictly followed”.

The State Executive Committee also reiterated that all the offices shall regulate the attendance of its employees in such a manner so as to ensure that appropriate Social Distancing Norms are maintained.

“Pregnant Women Employees will be exempted from Physical attendance. They shall be allowed to work from home.”
All employees with disabilities shall also be given option to work from home, it said.

“A maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor/ outdoor gathering shall be strictly restricted to 25,” the order reads.

Banquet Halls in all the Districts of J&K have been 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
“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.”

All Deputy Commissioners have been asked to intensify testing and ensure full utilisation of available RT-PCR and RAT capacities. “There shall be no drop in testing levels.”

Chief Medical Officers of all districts, the order reads, shall submit a daily report regarding the utilisation of available RT-PCR capacities to the District Magistrates concerned. Besides, District Magistrates shall also go for capacity expansion of the RT-PCR testing as per the requirement

“The Deputy Commissioners shall also 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.”

There shall be renewed focus on Panchayat level/Medical Block mapping of cases and effective micro-containment zones shall be constituted wherever number of Covid-19 Positive cases reaches 3 or above, the order reads further.

“The DCs shall 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.”

Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday recorded 4,615 fresh coronavirus cases that took its infection tally to 4,32,875, while seven more fatalities pushed the death toll to 4,659.

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