Eight cases in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu; total 49 in J&K UT
* Some Jammu areas sealed, no movement of public allowed: 2 villages in Shopian, one in Ganderbal declared red zones
STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Eleven new positive cases of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported on Monday —three from Jammu division and eight from Kashmir Valley– taking the total number of positive cases in the Union Territory to 49. According to a daily Media Bulletin, issued by the government, two patients have so far recovered and two have died. Till date 11,644 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance which also include 355 persons who are in hospital isolation and hospital quarantine. The Bulletin further said that 722 samples have been sent for testing of which 659 have tested as negative and 15 reports are awaited till March 30, 2020. Meanwhile, the government has sealed three areas of Jammu and completely banned the movement of people in the city following the detection of coronavirus cases in these areas, officials said. “With immediate effect and till further orders no movement of any individual for any reason whatsoever shall be permitted into and out of Bathindi and Sunjwan areas, falling under Police Station Trikuta Nagar and Gujjar Nagar area,” Jammu District Magistrate Sushma Chauhan said in an order. She said that for any medical emergency, individuals can contact 24X7 control room at 0191-2571616, 0191-2571912 and necessary facilitation shall be done. The district magistrate said that in order to strengthen the coronavirus containment operations in areas where recent positive cases have been traced, they have intensified the lockdown in Bathindi and neighbouring areas. “We are further doing it in Bhawani Nagar area of Janipur police station as well. This is in the interest of public at large,” Chauhan said. In the order, she said that in view of the situation emerging due to coronavirus in Jammu district, there is sufficient ground for proceeding under Section 144 of CrPC as immediate prevention or a speedy remedy is desirable to prevent danger to human life, health or safety. In a related development, invoking prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, Disaster Management Act and The Epidemic Disease Act, District Magistrate Shopian said that there would be no inward and outward movement of any person from the villages declared red zones and the people would stay in their homes to ensure complete lockdown. In this regard District Magistrate issued order according to which Ramnagri and Sedow, fall in red zone category while adjoining villages of these tehsils have been declared buffer zones, for the safety and well being of general public. The order further reads that there would be no vehicular movement on these roads. “The area has become more vulnerable as far as further transmission of the COVID-19 virus is concerned. It is necessary to break further transmission of the disease in the area and it becomes imperative to take stringent precautionary measures like declaring concerned villages as red zones. DM directed the officials concerned to ensure supply of essential commodities as per laid down protocols in the villages covering both local residents and outside labourers and warned of stern action against anyone who tries to violate order. According to the media bulletin, the UT government has stated that in case of any emergency people can avail free ambulance services 24×7 at their door steps by calling on toll free No. 108. Pregnant women and sick infants can avail free ambulance services by dialing toll free No. 102. Furthermore a 24×7 toll free national helpline number 1075 has been activated for support, guidance, and response to health related queries on novel coronavirus disease. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has also set up helpline numbers in this regard: 0191-2549676 (UT level Cell for J&K), 0191-2520982, 0191-2674444, 0191-2674115 (For Jammu Division), 0194-2440283 and 0194-2430581 (For Kashmir Division). According to the advisory, Globally, COVID-19 has impacted several lives and is steadily increasing its reach. “Government is taking necessary measures including imposition of lockdown to contain the spread of the virus to protect and safeguard the lives of people and it is therefore critical for each one of us to follow the advisories and take necessary precautions to break the chain of transmission of the disease,” the advisory reads. People have been requested to stay indoors, strictly implement social distancing measures, disclose recent travel history to covid-19 affected countries / areas and report any contact with positive cases voluntarily. General public has been advised to avoid unnecessary visit to hospitals, in case anyone develops fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical advice promptly by calling on Covid-19 helpline numbers so that they can be provided correct medical advice and directed to the right health facility, if needed. “Public in general is therefore advised to avoid un-necessary travel & use of public transport; avoid crowded places and large gatherings, do not spit in public. People must take basic precautions for personal hygiene; frequent hand washing with soap & water; and observing coughing & sneezing etiquettes,” the Government advisory added. The District Administration, Ganderbal, also declared Waskura village as Red Zone and its surrounding villages-Kharbagh, Batwina and Ahan as Buffer Zones as a precautionary measure. Invoking prohibitory orders under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, Section 144 of the CrPC and Disaster Management Act, 2005, District Magistrate(DM), Ganderbal, Shafqat Iqbal, said that there would be no inward and outward movement of any person from the village declared as Red zone and the people would stay inside their homes to ensure complete lockdown. He warned of stern action against violators as per provision of relevant Acts. The order was issued in view of the COVID-19 positive case from Hajin, Bandipora who has come in contact with many persons including relatives belonging to Village Waskura, Ganderbal due to which the area has become vulnerable as far as transmission of the COVID-19 virus is concerned.
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