Restrictions return as COVID-19 infections spike in J&K

Over 5,200 positive cases, 130 deaths reported in July so far

Restrictions return as COVID-19 infections spike in J&K

A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for COVID-19 at a testing centre in Srinagar. AFP

Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 18

After a fresh surge in the cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to it in the Union Territory, the Jammu and Kashmir government is bringing back a number of COVID-related restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

It has also decided to take legal action against road travellers if they skip the compulsory registration for COVID-19 sampling while moving from one division to another or entering J&K from outside.

In the current month alone, over 5,200 positive cases and 130 deaths have been reported. Jammu and Kashmir has recorded a total of 12,757 positive cases and 231 deaths till date.

Reasi Deputy Commissioner Indu Kanwal Chib announced a number of restrictions “to keep the district safe from COVID-19 pandemic”. Curbs have also been announced on inter-district travel.

“Spikes in COVID have started happening in your neighbourhood. It can happen anytime in my district if we think that Reasi is safe then let me tell you that it isn’t ... The number of faces without masks should be our target,” the DC tweeted.

She has also ordered that all markets in the district would be open from 11 am to 5 pm from July 20 onwards in view of a spike in the COVID cases in adjacent districts. “Markets shall also stay closed on every Saturday and Sunday starting from next week,” the DC added.

Bringing back certain curbs, Samba district administration has also decided to keep all shops, except essential shops including medical stores, testing labs, doctor clinics, milk, vegetable and fruit, bakery and poultry shops, closed on every Sunday starting from July 19.

Similar restrictions have already been imposed in Rajouri district where a major spike in positive cases has been reported in the last fortnight. The district administration has re-imposed lockdown in certain areas, curbing the unnecessary movement of people. It, however, has decided to open chemist shops in a regulated odd-even manner “to mitigate and reduce patient sufferings”.

The Udhampur district administration has imposed restrictions on the movement of day picnickers to famous hill resort Patnitop. People with confirmed hotel booking only would be allowed to visit Patnitop.

In Kashmir valley, the government has already re-imposed lockdown in Srinagar district, which has become the major hotspot in the Union Territory.

In the current month alone, nearly 1,550 positive cases and 35 deaths have been reported in the district. Central Kashmir’s Budgam district administration has also imposed fresh restrictions for five days.

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