No drop in testing levels: SEC to DCs
JAMMU, Jan 30: The Government today confined weekend restrictions to Saturday and Sunday and withdrew curbs on non-essential movement on Friday even as it asked the Health and Medical Education Department to ensure that minimum 15 contacts of COVID positive person are traced with a view to arrest transmission within the community.
The latest guidelines were issued today by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta in his capacity as the Chairperson State Executive Committee (SEC).
“There shall be complete restriction on non-essential movement in the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir from every Friday 9 pm to Monday 6 am,” the order issued this evening read.
Presently, restrictions on non-essential movement used to start from 2 pm Friday and last till 6 am Monday. Now, they will start from 9 pm Friday which means, there will be no curbs on Friday.
The weekend restrictions now will be confined to Saturday and Sunday.
It may be mentioned here that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu had refused to shut shops on Friday on the ground that traders are suffering heavy losses due to weekend lockdown. However, the Chamber had agreed for keeping shops and business establishments closed on Saturday and Sunday with the condition that the administration will review decision on lockdown.
Reacting to latest order, Chamber president Arun Gupta told the Excelsior that he will speak to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta and other senior officers in the administration tomorrow and seek withdrawal of restrictions on Saturday.
“No restrictions on Friday is good decision but on Saturday also, there should be no curbs. The administration can order strict lockdown on Sunday,” Gupta said, adding the traders have been suffering heavy losses due to lockdown.
He said the States with more COVID cases have lifted all restrictions and there is no fun of going ahead with lockdown in Jammu when cases were decreasing. The Government should compensate the traders, he added.
The Government order said night curfew will continue to remain in force in all districts from 9 pm to 6 am with complete restriction on non-essential movement.
The Government directed all Deputy Commissioners to intensify testing and ensure full utilization of available RT-PCR and RAT capacities.
There shall be no drop in testing levels, it said.
It added that the Directors of Health and Medical Education will ensure that elderly people and those with co-morbidities are encouraged to come forward for testing.
“The Health Department must ensure that minimum 15 contacts of COVID-19 positive person are traced in order to arrest transmission within the community,” the order read.
The SEC reiterated that all the offices will regulate attendance of employees to ensure maintenance of social distancing norms while pregnant women will be exempted from physical attendance and allowed to work from home.
Similarly, employees with disabilities shall also be given option to work from home.