Amid rising COVID cases, Jammu goes into 60-hour lockdown

Jammu has gone into a 60-hour lockdown from Friday 6 pm in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus cases that had witnessed a spike over the past week, officials said on Saturday.

Jammu district sits atop the list among 10 districts in Jammu region with 14 deaths and 472 virus cases. It is the ninth among 20 districts in terms of such cases and deaths in Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar district with a record of 82 deaths and 2,088 active COVID cases is on the top of the list.

“The weekend lockdown is going on effectively. There are no major reports of any violations of guidelines. It is being strictly implemented”, an officer said here.

He, however, said that some people had stepped out for different reasons in different areas and were sent back with warnings.

Only local chemists, fruits, vegetables and dairy shops remained open for community needs and the passengers coming out from and going to the airport or railway station were permitted to travel upon producing their tickets.

The staff deployed at airport and railway stations (public officials and those belonging to airlines) were allowed to move out after showing valid identity proofs, officials said.

The government employees of essential services departments, including medical services or such other departments as required by the government, were permitted to move upon showing ID proof. Police barricades and concertina wires were placed on roads for a complete blockade on movement of vehicles.

Last Sunday, Jammu district authorities had announced a complete weekend lockdown beginning from July 24 to prevent the spread of coronavirus cases following a spurt in the past week.

Jammu District Magistrate Sushma Chauhan ordered the lockdown to be implemented from 6 pm on all Fridays till 6 am on all Mondays beginning July 24.

“There shall be complete restriction on movement of individuals, vehicles and all activities within the entire jurisdiction of district Jammu, except the movement for emergency medical requirements for which no pass is required,” Chauhan said in an order issued last Sunday.

“In view of the situation emerging due to COVID-19 in and around district Jammu in the recent days, there is sufficient ground for proceeding under Section 144 CrPC for immediate prevention or speedy remedy is desirable to prevent danger to human life, health or safety.

“Whereas it has been felt, based on wider consultation with the chief medical officer, senior epidemiologists and other health professionals, that stricter social distancing norms during the weekdays and strict lockdown during weekends need to be followed to prevent any further spike in the COVID cases,” the order read.