SRINAGAR: The State Executive Committee (SEC) in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has ordered that the guidelines / instructions on COVID containment in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir already notified vide Government Orders 35 and 36 – JK (DMRRR) of 2021 dated 29-05-2021 read with Government Order 63 – JK (DMRRR) of 2021 dated 22-08-2021 shall continue to remain in force till further orders.
In this regard, a detailed review of the current COVID situation in Jammu and Kashmir was held by the Chief Secretary, J&K, with the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Finance, ACS, Health and Medical Education, Principal Secretary, Home, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other officers of Jammu and Kashmir.
The review was conducted to assess overall situation pertaining to the spread of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly focusing on the parameters like total weekly new cases (per million), total positivity rate, Bed Occupancy, Case fatality rate, Vaccination coverage of targeted population and Extent of compliance to COVID Appropriate Behavior.
The order issued by the department of Disaster Management reads, “The State Executive Committee reiterates that the following measures shall continue to remain in force:
i. The maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor/ outdoor gathering shall be strictly restricted to 25. All District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police shall ensure compliance.
ii. There shall be no weekend curfew in any district.
iii. All schools including coaching centers shall continue to remain closed for onsite/in-person teaching, till further orders. However, the higher educational ions can be permitted to commence with limited in-person teaching subject to 100% vaccination of staff and students and specific permission of concerned Deputy Commissioners. Such institutions can organize special vaccination camps in consultation with district administration. Other educational institutions can allow attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes.
iv. Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force in all districts from 8 pm to 7 am.
v. All Deputy Commissioners shall intensify testing by making optimum use of available RT-PCR and RAT capacities and there shall be no drop in testing levels.
vi. The Deputy Commissioners shall also focus on the positivity rates of the Medical-Blocks under their jurisdictions. Intensified measures related to Covid management and restriction of activities shall be undertaken in these Blocks. There shall be renewed focus on Panchayat level mapping of cases and effective micro-containment zones shall be constituted wherever unusual spike of cases is noticed. DCs shall keep active track of the positivity rates in blocks and consider implementing stricter control measures in closed clustered spaces like Public/ Private Offices, Community halls, Malls, Bazaars etc., in case weekly positivity rate goes beyond 4 percent in these Blocks.
vii. The three – “T” protocol of testing, tracking and treating, besides vaccination, needs to be strengthened in these Blocks. The proportion of rT-PCR tests in the total mix should be scaled up on a best effort basis, to 70% or more, excluding travelers.
viii. Intensive vaccination drive shall be taken up in all districts to ensure timely administration of second dose besides maximizing first dose to vulnerable groups.
ix. Positive cases detected as a result of intensive testing need to be isolated / quarantined at the earliest and their contacts shall also be traced and similarly isolated / quarantined and tested if needed.
x. Immediate isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities / hospitals / homes.
xi. The D/o HME, GOJK, shall ensure adequate availability of COVID dedicated health and logistics (including ambulatory) infrastructure, based on their assessment of the case trajectory.
xii. MD, NHM in consultation with the DCs shall take up Panchayat level mapping and data capturing on the specified portal with respect to all tests for tracking the positivity rates in all Panchayats and other areas in a timely manner”.
The order further reads that the District Magistrates shall strictly ensure that there is full compliance to COVID appropriate behavior and defaulters are firmly dealt with under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code. The District Magistrates shall constitute joint teams of Police and Executive Magistrates for intensifying enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behavior.
“The joint teams shall submit daily reports regarding activities carried out by them and their assessment of compliance level. DCs will intensify the campaigns for ensuring COVID appropriate behavior. Dedicated IEC, including public announcements through mobile vehicles must be undertaken” it adds.
The order also reads that at the entry point to UT of J&K at Lakhanpur, mandatory testing for COVID can be dispensed with for those who have received both doses of vaccine provided a reliable and verifiable system can be put in place in consultation with the medical team”.
“Entry into Parks can be permitted to vaccinated persons with due verification” the order further adds.