As 3rd Covid-19 Wave Ebbs, J&K Government Lifts Weekend Lockdown

Representative Image

JAMMU, Feb 6: As third wave of the covid-19 ebbed, J&K government on Sunday lifted weekend restrictions and also allowed coaching centres to resume offline teaching with a rider.
However, according to an order by State Executive Committee headed by Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, the night curfew shall continue across Jammu and Kashmir as well as there shall be full adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).
As regards the education institutions, the SEC ordered that all Colleges, Schools, Polytechnics, ITIs, etc shall continue to adopt “online” medium of teaching. “There shall be no in-person teaching,” the order reads.
“Coaching Centres for Civil Services/Engineering/NEET etc. are permitted to adopt offline medium of teaching at 50% of their capacity subject to condition that both faculty members as well as students are fully vaccinated and the Head of the centre ensures due precautions such as CAB and adherence to SOP,” the order reads further, adding, “Educational institutions shall be permitted to direct attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes only.” The Head of the institution, it said, must ensure that guidelines related to social distancing and Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) are strictly followed.
“Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force in all Districts from 10 pm to 6 am with complete restriction on non-essential movement,” the order adds further.
All the Government Department(s)/Office(s) have been asked to minimise conducting in-person meetings or interactions etc. “All Administrative Secretaries/ Head of the Department(s)/ Institution^) shall ensure optimal use of virtual mode for conducting official meetings etc.”
To reduce the rate of transmission within J&K, it said, all efforts shall be made by Authorities through active involvement of PRIs, Community Leaders, Market Associations and Federations.
“IEC campaign for containing surge in Covid cases/3rd Wave shall be undertaken immediately by all District Magistrates (Chairperson, District Disaster Management Authorities) in their respective jurisdictions highlighting the necessity of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB),” the order reads, adding, “The Department of Health and Medical Education, Jammu and Kashmir shall sensitise people about the Variants of Concern/Variants of Interest (VoC/Vol) of Covid-19 including the new Variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron)”.
The State Executive Committee also reiterated that all the offices should regulate the attendance of its employees in such a manner so as to ensure that appropriate Social Distancing Norms are maintained.
“Pregnant Women Employees will be exempted from Physical attendance. They shall be allowed to work from home,” it said, adding, “Employees with disabilities shall also be given option to work from home.”
The maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor gathering shall be strictly restricted to 25, it said.
Banquet Halls in all the Districts of J&K are permitted to allow gathering up to 25% of the authorised capacity (with verifiable RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test for Covid19 not older than 72 hours), in open spaces only, it said.
“Cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, restaurants, clubs, gymnasiums and swimming pools are permitted to function at 25% of the authorised capacity with due precautions such as CAB and adherence to SOP,” he said, adding, “All Deputy Commissioners shall intensify testing and ensure full utilisation of available RT-PCR and RAT capacities. There shall be no drop in testing levels.”
Chief Medical Officers of all districts have been asked to submit a daily report regarding the utilisation of available RT-PCR capacities to the District Magistrates concerned. “Besides, District Magistrates shall also go for capacity expansion of the RT-PCR testing as per the requirement.”
The Deputy Commissioners have been asked to focus on the positivity rates of the Medical-Blocks under their jurisdictions. “Intensified measures related to Covid management and restriction of activities shall be undertaken in these Blocks.” (Agencies)