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India

J-K Admin Re-Imposes Weekend Lockdown, Extends Night Curfew Amid Covid Surge

Night curfew shall continue to remain in force from 9 pm to 6 am with complete restriction on non-essential movement. There shall be a complete restriction on non-essential movement during weekends in entire Jammu and Kashmir.

A fire broke out in a scrap shop in Jammu around 6.15 pm. (Image: Twitter/ ANI)

Srinagar: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday re-imposed weekend lockdown and said that night curfew shall continue to remain in force in all districts from 9 pm-6 am with complete restrictions on non-essential movement in the Union Territory.

“Night curfew shall continue to remain in force from 9 pm to 6 am with complete restriction on non-essential movement. There shall be a complete restriction on non-essential movement during weekends in entire Jammu and Kashmir,” the order reads.

The decision was taken on Friday by the State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta to review the COVID situation.

“The District Magistrates of respective districts of Jammu and Kashmir shall adopt a Zero Tolerance policy towards non-compliance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), and shall ensure due action against defaulters under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Act, and the India Penal Code,” the order reads.

As per the order, indoor and outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 25 people followed by gathering of up to 25 vaccinated people in banquet halls or 25 per cent of the authorised capacity. In the Banquet Halls, people will have to show RT-PCR reports which should not be older than 72 hours.

Also, cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, restaurants, clubs, gymnasiums, and swimming will function with only 25 per cent of the authorized capacity.

The educational institutes have been permitted online mediums of teaching, while only vaccinated staff members can attend institutions for administrative purposes.

Chief Secretary also directed the divisional and district administrations to ensure fool-proof enforcement of all COVID protocols and the SOPs, stressing that Omicron is more virulent than the delta variant.

He ordered a mass scale awareness campaign to promote district COVID helpline numbers established for medical assistance over the telephone.

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Chief Secretary also called for re-activation of block-level COVID medical grid to facilitate isolation facilities at Panchayat level, primary medical assistance at primary health care centres, and referral to district and tertiary healthcare facilities in cases of emergencies.

“The District magistrate (Chairperson, DDMAs) shall create as many Micro Containment Zones as necessary and as per situation demand on ground, keeping in view the spike of cases,” it said.

The district administration was directed to enhance the number of tests including RTPCR and expedite identification, isolation, and micro-containment of the infections.

“If passengers arriving into the union territory is asymptomatic, they don’t need to undergo RT-PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test on arrival if they have an equivalent final certificate of COVID-19 vaccinations or a valid RT-PCR COVID negative report taken within 72 hours,” it said.

However, testing will be conducted on symptomatic incoming passengers by air/rail/road.

Also, the interstate movement of passengers will be permitted on the basis of a fully vaccinated certificate or test reports not 72 hours late.

The administration also stressed on speeding up vaccination drive in the 15-17 age category which is currently at 40 per cent.

The officials were asked to complete the vaccination in this age category within one week.

The chief secretary asked the Health and Medical Education Department to prioritize administering of booster doses in vulnerable populations through its ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign.