Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu said over 350 students and nearly 40,000 labourers are stranded outside the Union Territory due to the nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said all those returning to the Union Territory (UT) will be tested and home quarantined. Meanwhile, the first batch of 1,200 people were brought back from Punjab on Monday.
“We have decided that all those who will be brought back will have to undergo testing. They will be sent to home quarantine,” Murmu told PTI on the strategy formulated by his administration to deal with the large number of people stranded outside the UT
“If they have not been screened and tested in those places, then they will come back here and affect the families and people around them. So testing is must,” he added. On the steps taken for the safe return of those belonging to the UT and stuck in various countries due to the pandemic, the Lieutenant Governor said, “We have talked to the Ministry of External Affairs about the matter. We have requested them to carry out evacuation in Bangladesh, Iran and other countries. Most of them have been brought back.”
He said a large number of students belonging to the Union Territory were stranded in various states due to the lockdown. “We have evacuated them. They were put in quarantine in Mumbai, Jaisalmir etc,” he said, adding others are stranded in Bangalore, Chennai, Noida and Agra. “We have a list of 350 students still stuck outside the Union Territory.
We have given them assurance that once the lockdown ends, they will be brought back,” he said. “We are also identifying labourers of J&K stranded in other states. Over 30,000 to 40,000 labourers are out of Jammu and Kashmir. Some of them want to come back. We will see (how they can be brought back after lockdown ends),” he added. The Lt Governor said the administration is dealing with containment of COVID-19 as per strategy. “In Jammu region, the situation is fully under control.
The problematic areas are those with people having travel history abroad. Such people have mostly been identified and quarantined,” he said. Murmu said the administration was taking the help of Aarogya Setu mobile application and booth-wise surveys to trace and track the contacts of COVID-19 positive patients.
“We are also giving preference to testing of elderly people and the ill in red zones,” he said. Saying the coronavirus situation was “under control” in the Union Territory, the Lt Governor said, “We have no one on the ventilator. We have 200 ventilators and are procuring 400 more.” He added that the COVID-19 patients who were brought “at the last moment” lost their lives due to the disease
“Those who were brought in the initial stage, their mortality rate is very low,” he said.