Red, Containment Zones to be sealed, heavy fine on violators

The Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam while taking stock of efforts toward mitigating the COVID-19 threat, reiterated that perimeter control and complete lockdown in red zones and containment zones should be strictly enforced.

Chief Secretary impressed upon Deputy Commissioners to cautiously declare an area/cluster as a red zone on scientific basis, and ensure strict adherence of SOPs thereafter.

“Aggressive testing in the red/containment zones, especially of vulnerable patients including children, old aged, pregnant ladies, patients with Influenza like Illness (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI), co-morbid conditions, service providers, healthcare professionals and police personnel; has to be ensured”, he added.

Laying stress on the importance of early detection of infection, Chief Secretary directed intensifying the efforts towards smart and targeted contact tracing by utilizing information from NHM data, Swasthya Nidhi survey and Arogya Setu app.

With regard to capacity enhancement of hospitals for accommodating higher numbers of symptomatic patients, it was directed that positive but asymptomatic patients be immediately shifted to COVID care centres whereas, only moderate and severely affected patients be admitted in COVID hospitals.

Chief Secretary informed that to augment the shortage of medical equipments, the Government is procuring nearly 700 ventilators from Government of India, which will arrive shortly. In this regard, he asked the DCs to ensure their timely installation and commissioning, besides ensuring availability of oxygen cylinders and intensive care equipment.

He further informed that wearing of masks by all and ban on spitting at public places are being included as statutory provisions in the Epidemic Diseases Act, with stringent penalties and directed the DCs/SSPs to ensure strict implementation of the same.

Chief Secretary directed promotion of good habits in people by undertaking Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities regarding precautionary measures and health related assistance in the times of COVID-19. It was decided that local level quarantine centres be established under the control of concerned Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

Chief Secretary impressed upon the DCs/SSPs to promote the use of Arogya Setu App by people to further facilitate contact tracing. He further said that unnecessary movement should be discouraged and proper social distancing norms be observed in public places/transaction points.

Chief Secretary entrusted upon Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure collection of 4000 and 6000 samples per day, respectively through daily monitoring.

During the meeting, it was informed that about 35000 brick kiln labourers are returning to Kashmir Valley, who should invariably be tested at Jawahar Tunnel before being sent to quarantine facility at respective destinations.

He directed DCs of Kathua, Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi to ramp up the testing capacities at all the arrival points including airport and railway stations in view of expected increase in tourist footfall.

The Chief Secretary called for efficient coordination between various implementing agencies viz. District Administration, Police, PRIs and Health Department for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Administrative Secretaries of departments of Health & Medical Education, Home, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM) participated in the meeting.

Divisional Commissioners of Jammu, Kashmir and all Deputy Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police, attended the meeting through video conference.

Similarly, Jammu has 553 positive cases (including 14 cases reported today) with 176 active positive cases and 366 recoveries (including 22 cases reported today) and 11 deaths; Udhampur has 307 positive cases (including 03 cases reported today) with 21 active positive cases, 285 recovered (including 06 cases recovered today) and 01 death; Samba has 301 positive cases (including 08 cases reported today) with 155 Active Positive and 145 recoveries (including 01 case recovered today) and 01 death; Rajouri has 321 positive cases (including 33 cases reported today) with 222 active positive cases and 98 recovered and 01 death; Kathua has 328 positive cases (including 02 cases reported today) with 97 Active positive and 230 recovered (including 01 case reported today) and 01 death; Kishtwar has 58 positive cases with 31 active positive cases and 27 recovered; Ramban has 277 positive cases with 68 active positive and 209 recoveries; Reasi has 60 positive cases with 21 active positive and 39 recovered; Poonch has 148 positive cases with 26 active positive and 121 recoveries and 01 death while Doda has 154 positive cases (including 02 cases reported today) with 70 active positive cases and 82 recoveries (including 04 cases recovered today) and 02 deaths.

According to the bulletin, of the total 12156 positive cases in J&K 3061 have been reported as travelers while 9095 as others.

The Bulletin said that the breakup represents districts from which the patients have been traced or are ordinarily residing.

The bulletin has informed the people that, the best way to protect themselves from COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 2 metre from others, frequently cleaning hands with an alcohol based hand sanitizer or washing them with soap and water and following good respiratory etiquette and hygiene.

As a measure for social distancing in public places and workplaces wearing a face cover is compulsory.

The bulletin again explained that early detection of COVID-19 can prevent the spread of disease so we need to be responsible for the well-being of ourselves and everyone around us. “Not disclosing symptoms could put life of individuals and their families at risk. In case of symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing report early. Do not fear, call COVID-19 helpline numbers and seek medical advice”.

Advisory has further exhorted upon the people not to step out of home, unless absolutely necessary. “If you have to move out for unavoidable reasons, ensure that you wear a mask and practice social distancing, personal hygiene and frequent handwashing with soap and water.”

In case of any emergency people can avail free ambulance services 24×7 at their doorsteps by calling on toll-free number 108 while as pregnant women and sick infants can avail free ambulance services by dialling toll-free number 102.

People can also call on toll-free national helpline number 1075; J&K COVID-19 Helpline Numbers 0191- 2549676 (UT level Cell), 0191-2520982, 0191-2674444, 0191-2674115 (For Jammu Division), 0194-2440283 & 0194-2430581 (For Kashmir Division) for support, guidance, and response to health-related queries on Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Public is advised to strictly follow the advisories issued by the government from time to time and rely only on the information released by the government through the daily media bulletin to print and electronic media.

People are also advised to refrain from spreading rumours and pay no heed to them at the same time.