People stay indoors as police act tough to enforce complete lockdown

#Sealing of JK borders to be strictly monitored


#GMC declared as dedicated COVID hospital, retired docs to be hired for underserved areas

JAMMU, Mar 24: Braving rains, policemen were out on streets to enforce a strict lockdown across Jammu region on Tuesday as autho-rities announced mandatory 14-day quarantine for those entering the Union Territory from neighbouring states.
Acting tough against people defying the 10-day shutdown effected since Sunday evening, police registered nearly 100 FIRs, sealed several shops and seized many vehicles across the region, officials said.
Despite intermittent rains lashing the city and and the region, the policemen with masked faces stood guard at various key intersections and stretches of deserted roads barricaded with barbed wire to discourage people from venturing out of their homes.
Only those providing essential supplies and services or having any emergency were allowed on roads by cops, who won instant praise on social media for braving rains and risks to keep the society safe and secure from the deadly virus. Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday sealed the interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and the UT of Ladakh, a day after imposing a 10-day shutdown in the entire region as part of the efforts to combat coronavirus. The administration has added a few more items including poultry and meat to the list of 16 essential services to be available to the residents during the shutdown. Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam visited Lakhanpur, bordering Punjab along Jammu-Pathankot highway, and ordered strict sealing of the border, the officials said.
Anyone wishing to enter Jammu and Kashmir including local students and those who have gone outside for work or holiday will have to undergo 14-day quarantine," District Development Commi-ssioner Om ParkashBhagat said. He said there will be no compromise in enforcing the lockdown to curb the spread of the virus spread and prevent the disease from upgrading further. Officials said over 300 persons, including local residents, reached Lakhanpur border to enter the UT but only those willing to undergo the quarantine were allowed. Trucks carrying essential supplies, however, were allowed without any hindrance after proper screening of the drivers, said officials.
The UT administration also restricted the opening time for shops selling essentials and daily use items, including vegetables and milk, to a few hours in the morning and evening in different districts. They also warned of stern penal action against those found misusing movement passes.
The Maintenance of essential services is important but at the same time, the movement also need to be curtailed. Therefore, in view of the above, it is hereby ordered that all such persons should remain stationed at their respective places of posting. Movement passes shall be valid only for movement from residence or place of stay to the work place and back.
No intercity or inter-tehsil movement shall be allowed on daily basis even for people providing essential services," an order issued by Poonch District Magistrate Rahul Yadav said, warning that strict action would be taken against anyone leaving their place of posting or station and found misusing these movement passes.
To ensure that people visiting groceries shops to buy essential commodities stay at a safe distance from each other to observe the social distancing norm, the policemen have come up with the innovative idea of marking waiting spots for the customers in front of shops.
They have also advised people to follow social distancing when step out to buy essential commodities.
A police official said nearly 100 FIRs were registered against those who were found violating district magistrates' orders in various districts, including Jammu, where nearly three dozen FIRs have been lodged, 27 shops sealed and 124 vehicles were seized, officials said.
Likewise, the official said over 70 cases were registered in Samba, Poonch, Doda, Rajouri and Kathua districts over the past couple of days against people breaching prohibitory orders. To review and supervise the steps being taken to contain the spread of the Corona Virus, the Administrative Council today held an emergency meeting here in Jammu today. The meeting was presided over by the Lt. Governor, Sh. GC. Murmu.
Advisors to Lt. Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma, Farooq Khan and Rajeev RaiBhatnagar, Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam; Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education, AtalDulloo; Principal Secretary to Lt. Governor, Bipul Pathak and Principal Secretary, Planning & Development & Information, RohitKansal were present in the meeting.
In a significant decision, the meeting decided to declare the GMC Jammu as a dedicated COVID hospital for Jammu province. It asked the Administrative Secretary Health Department and the Principal of the GMC to ensure that the hospital would be readied for the purpose by Wednesday evening.
The Council also noted that there were a number of underserved areas facing an acute shortage of doctors. In order to mitigate the problem, it accorded approval to the hiring of retired doctors against available vacancies for one year for emergency services in underserved areas. The meeting directed the Health department to review the availability of all equipment including ventilators and procure additional equipments as required on a war footing.
The meeting also reviewed the operation of the decision of the administration to seal the interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh UT. It issued instructions to the Divisional Commissioners and Police administration to ensure that the directions in this regard be implemented strictly on ground. Regarding inter district operations, the council directed that all movement be strictly restricted and regulated. However, it advised the administration to ensure that a smooth system of passes be operationalised so that essential supplies and services would continue uninterrupted.
In this connection, it also issued instructions to the Civil Supplies department to closely monitor the availability and continuous replenishment of all essential commodities. In view of the restrictions on the movement of traffic on the highways, the SRTC was directed to run Jammu-Srinagar and inter district services as required. It was also decided that passes for vehicles of essential services personnel shall be issued as required.
The meeting also directed the SRTC and State Motor Garages to undertake fumigation of their vehicles to ensure all cleanliness of their fleets and prevent any spread of infection.
The Government today informed that 4765 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance and, so far, only six cases have tested positive in Jammu and Kashmir and one among them has already recovered.
According to the daily Media Bulletin on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) 2928 persons have been kept under home quarantine while as 71 are in hospital quarantine.
Persons who are under home surveillance stand at 1268 while as 498 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.
The Bulletin further said that 279 samples have been sent for testing of which 253 tested as negative. Only six persons have tested positive so far and of them only five are Active Positive and one patient has recovered.
The bulletin further stated that 20 reports are awaited till March 24, 2020.

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