100 pc testing, compulsory quarantine for people returning to JK

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 21 (ANI): Chief Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir, BVR Subrahmanyam on Wednesday ordered Divisional/District administrations to strictly adhere to lockdown regulations and conduct testing of people returning to the Union Territory and quarantine them before being allowed to go home on testing negative.

The Chief Secretary said this during his first interaction with all Deputy Commissioners and District Superintendents of Police over video conference, after issuance of new guidelines on lockdown measures that come into effect from Wednesday.

"Though restrictions under lockdown 4.0 have been eased to facilitate people movement and economic activity, however, we cannot afford to lower our guard and shall be required to maintain a high level of alertness in order to keep the spread of coronavirus infection under check in Jammu and Kashmir", said BVR Subrahmanyam, according to an official statement.

"Applauding the district authorities for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Secretary said that the guidelines issued on the lockdown measures are required to be enforced strictly so that the progress achieved in this regard is maintained," said an official statement.

"The classification is based on an overall assessment of the situation pertaining to the spread of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, the trend in new cases particularly the recent spike in new cases in view of the movement of stranded persons into Jammu and Kashmir which is still an ongoing exercise, and the risk perception of the Health department vis-a-vis each district and the parameters laid down by MOHFW," he added, according to the statement.

Subrahmanyam emphasised that the earlier SOPs with regard to containment zones shall continue to remain in force to ensure a stricter perimeter and a complete lockdown in such areas except for essential supplies.

However, District Magistrates can take any local measure to ensure social distancing and to avoid congestion especially in the areas where the increased activity is expected.

Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday categorised the districts of the UT into Red, Orange and Green Zones in view of phase four of lockdown.

Chief Secretary said that recent spike in positive cases in some districts can be attributed to a high positivity percentage among those returning from outside J-K.

Complimenting the health department for its work in terms of enhancing the testing capacity, the Chief Secretary said once the influx of stranded persons decreases the testing capacity shall be rationalised among the districts to further increase local testing. (ANI)