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J&K Govt may impose restrictions, mark containment zones from April 1

Last Updated on March 25, 2021 at 3:32 pm

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir, the UT administration is planning to re-impose night curbs across the region, mark “area-specific Containment Zones”, increase RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), conduct random sampling drives in schools and colleges and punish those who are violating the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

An official said that the Government can also re-impose night curfews across the Union Territory in upcoming guidelines which might be issued on 1 April. Existing guidelines are functional till March 31. Government can ask District Magistrates to declare “area-specific Containment Zones” where COVID positive cases are detected. He said that there are low chances that the government will impose a lockdown.

As coronavirus cases had declined earlier, the government had lifted night restrictions on movement of people in September-October last year. Authorities had also stopped treating areas as Containment Zones as cases declined. Jammu region is receiving only 20 to 25 cases per day which is very low in comparison to past statistics.

Many states have started imposing night curfew as cases surged and Jammu and Kashmir can also administer night restrictions across the region from April 1. However, it will not impose lockdown but can ask District Magistrates to take a final decision regarding Containment Zones if there is a sudden increase in cases.

Educational institutions like Schools and Colleges will most likely remain functional but the Health Department can conduct random sampling of students.

Sources said that the administration has planned to increase RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests throughout the Union Territory. Testing has to be increased otherwise many cases may remain undetected and can ultimately lead to an overall increase in COVID-19 cases. Heath officials can be asked to focus more on contact tracing so that positive cases don’t remain undetected.

The government can impose fines on those people who are not wearing masks and violating social distancing guidelines. UT administration has decided to continue existing restrictions on Lakhanpur as it borders Punjab where a rise in covid cases has been witnessed.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs had directed all States/Union Territories to increase RT-PCR testing and vaccination as Coronavirus cases have risen in many states.