Srinagar placed in red zone; Edu Institutes to stay shut till May 31

Srinagar placed in red zone; Edu Institutes to stay shut till May 31

Jammu: The State Executive Committee on Sunday put Srinagar district in the red category as it issued revised guidelines for effective containment of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the new guidelines, all educational institutions, public parks and coaching centres would continue to remain closed till May 31, while public transport is allowed to ply with 50 per cent seating capacity and only 50 per cent shops allowed to open in markets and malls, Chief Secretary and Chairperson SEC B V R Subrahmanyam said in an order here.

Jammu and Kashmir, which is presently under lockdown since Thursday evening, recorded its highest single-day spike of 3,832 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the tally to 1,79,915, while a record 47 deaths raised the toll to 2,330.

Srinagar has been the worst affected district of Jammu and Kashmir by the COVID-19 pandemic, recording 546 deaths and over 35,000 cases.

The district has the highest number of active cases as on date at 8,872. The union territory has over 30,000 active cases.

Issuing the fresh categorisation of districts after a detailed review of the COVID-19 situation, the SEC order said Srinagar district has been put in the red category along with Lakhanpur — the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir bordering Punjab with a buffer of 500 metre radius — and the areas on either side of the Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to Kashmir along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

The rest of the 19 districts, including winter capital Jammu, have been placed in the orange zone, the order said, adding that the classification of the districts was meant for the purpose of implementation of permitted activities with the red category district facing more restrictions.

Jammu and Kashmir is presently under lockdown since Thursday evening. While the restrictions will be lifted in most parts at 7 am on Monday, the four districts of Srinagar, Jammu, Budgam and Baramulla would remain under lockdown till Thursday morning.

In another order along with 20-page guidelines, the chief secretary said any violation of the guidelines would attract penal action under the Disaster Management Act.

“These instructions are being issued for regulating activities that are to be permitted during the extended period of COVID related restrictions these instructions shall remain in force till further orders, unless modified or withdrawn earlier,” the order said.

It said no permissions or passes are required for activities which were already permitted under earlier orders.

With regard to educational institutions, the order said all universities, colleges and technical or skill development institutions would remain closed for imparting on-campus or in-person education to students till May 31, except for courses or programmes that require physical presence of students on account of laboratory or research or thesis work and internship.

It said all paid public parks would remain closed for visitors for the same period, while public transport would be permitted to ply only at 50 per cent of its authorised seating capacity.

Only 50 per cent shops in major market complexes or malls within the municipal limits or urban local body limits would be open on alternate basis through a rotation system, the order said.

It said the ceiling on the number of people permitted to attend gatherings/functions shall be 20 in case of funerals and 50 for all other kinds of gatherings, whether indoors or at outdoor venues.

The order said there shall be no restrictions on entry of passengers, returnees or travellers coming to Jammu and Kashmir, whether by road, rail or air.

However, they will have to compulsorily undergo a COVID-19 antigen test through any of the prescribed methods as per the protocol of the government, it said.

“No deputy commissioner or any subordinate magistrate shall impose any local lockdown, outside notified containment zones, without prior consultation with the SEC, and following the orders and guidelines issued by the central government,” it said. PTI


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