Places of worship to open in J&K on Aug 16

Govt classifies districts in Red, Orange & Green zones for implementing lockdown from August 5


JAMMU, Aug 4: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday decided to open religious premises and places of worship from August 16 but extended other standard operating procedures for COVID-19 containment till August 31.
"Major decision by J&K Government. All religious places and places of worship to open in Jammu & Kashmir from August 16, 2020. Religious processions and large religious gatherings remain strictly prohibited," government spokesperson RohitKansal said in a tweet.
According to an order issued by the chief secretary, a separate SOP will be issued for opening of religious places. Meanwhile, the administration has declared all districts of Kashmir except Bandipora as red zones while Ramban is the only district in Jammu division to be included in this category.
Doda and Kishtwar districts are placed in green zones while rest of the seven districts in Jammu region & Bandipora district have been categorised as orange zones. The government has asked the people to follow the SOPs for respective zones or face penal action in case of any violation.
Red zones are the ones with a large number of coronavirus cases while the orange zones have lesser positive cases. A green zone is one that has not reported any COVID-19 positive case in 28 days.
However, government also classified the districts as Red, Orange and Green zones for the purpose of implementing the lockdown, from tomorrow (August 5, 2020).
An order issued by Chairperson of the State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, declared all districts of Kashmir province, (except Bandipora district) and Ramban district of Jammu Province as red zones; Kathua, Samba, Bandipora, Reasi, Udham-pur, Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts as Orange zones; and Doda and Kishtwar as Green zones.
The Lakhanpur Containment Zone on the National Highway will be a RED/ Containment Zone with a 500 meter buffer, the order stated.
This categorization of districts into Red, Orange and Green, as per the order, will be followed for the purposes of implementation of permitted activities in the respective districts, as per a separate order, to be issued by the State Executive Committee (SEC).
It further stated that this classification of districts will be reviewed periodically and any further modifications will be made by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir.
The classification, as per the order, has been done after a detailed review of the current COVID situation in Jammu and Kashmir with the Financial Commissioner, Health; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu/Kashmir and other officers.
The review particularly included 'An overall assessment of the situation pertaining to the spread of COVID19 in Jammu and Kashmir; The trend in new cases particularly the recent spread/ spike in new cases in view of the continuous movement of persons travelling to J&K and between provinces/ districts; and the risk perception of the Health department vis-a-vis each district and the need to control further spread of COVID-19.

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