Rajouri under focus as strict restrictions continue across Jammu to prevent spread of COVID-19

Jammu: With three coronavirus cases being reported in the past couple of days, authorities in Rajouri district have brought dozens of people under surveillance, officials said on Saturday.

While one person tested positive for COVID-19 in Rajouri on Thursday, the samples of two more suspected cases from the border district came positive on Friday, taking the total number of such patients in Jammu region to six.

The Kashmir Valley accounted for one death and 13 positive cases, the first case coming to light on March 9.

“As we end the day, two more positive cases confirmed – both from Rajouri district. One a family member of yesterday’s (Thursday) confirmed case, the other has a contact history with a confirmed (now deceased) case,” government spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted late Friday.

Following the detection of the three positive cases, the officials said the restrictions further intensified across Rajouri with the local administration making all out efforts to identify and isolate all those who have come into contact with the positive cases, including the deceased person.

“Over 50 people have been identified and put under surveillance. We have taken samples of suspected cases and isolated them, while the rest of those who reported on their own have been advised to remain in home quarantine and report to the authorities if they develop any symptoms,” an official said, adding that at least 400 people are under surveillance in the district.

He said the focus was on those people who had come into contact with the deceased person during a religious event in Samba district.

Advising people not to panic, the official said all necessary measures have been taken to prevent the spread of the infection.

“The people need to cooperate with the government, stay at their homes and avoid unnecessary movement,” he said.

The officials said strict restrictions continued across Jammu region for the success of the shutdown announced by the government on March 25, banning assembly of three or more persons.

The people are cooperating and there was no report of any violation of the prohibitory orders, the officials said.

As the lockdown has rendered migrant labourers and other daily wagers jobless, many government and non-government organizations besides political, religious and social groups have come forward and started distributing packed food to the poor at various places.

“It is an endeavour to ensure that nobody sleeps empty stomach in the present crisis,” a social worker said.

Meanwhile, the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) issued a notice banning all types of construction within its jurisdiction till further orders.

“Despite the order under Section 144 (CrPC), where construction activities are not listed as essential services, there are reports of some illegal constructions, encroachments and other violations taking place within the municipal limits of JMC,” a notice issued by the JMC commissioner stated.

“Whereas, this activity not only violates provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, but also increases the threat of spread of the virus through gathering of workers at construction sites,” the notice stated.

“Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in me under Section 242 of the MCA, it is ordered that all ongoing construction activities of every nature, including those with sanctioned building permissions within the municipal limits of JMC are banned with immediate effect, till further orders,” it added.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department and the Power Development Department (PDD) have urged consumers to avail online bill payment facility from the comfort and safety of their homes.

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