Entire Ladakh declared Red Zone; lockdown enforced as 198 new COVID cases emerge

Kargil town being fenced again following re-imposition of lockdown like restrictions in Ladakh on Saturday. -Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi
Kargil town being fenced again following re-imposition of lockdown like restrictions in Ladakh on Saturday. -Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi

3 GMC staffers among 38 more test positive

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, June 13: There was no let up in massive spike in Coronavirus positive cases in the Union Territory of Ladakh with 198 more persons testing positive for the virus today in Kargil district taking tally of the UT to 437 and number of active cases to 368 prompting the administration to declare entire UT as Red Zone and re-impose lockdown like restrictions to prevent further spread of the pandemic while in Jammu region 38 persons including three staffers of Government Medical College (GMC) Doda tested positive taking number of the region to 1135.

For full order of lockdown restrictions

With today’s 198 positive cases for COVID 19, the Union Territory of Ladakh has reported 303 positives during last two days as officials attributed sudden surge to return of nearly 25,000 to 30,000 persons from different parts of the country and abroad in aircrafts and buses who were stranded where they had gone on pilgrimage, for work and studies etc.

For full order of lockdown restrictions

Officials told the Excelsior that 198 persons today tested positive for Coronavirus in Kargil district while there was no positive case in Leh district. Majority of those tested positive for the virus were returnees and their contacts, they said. Click here to watch video
Meanwhile, a senior functionary of Ladakh, who had come in contact with an ITBF official, who had tested positive for the virus on return from New Delhi, has tested negative for COVID-19. The senior functionary had isolated himself after the ITBF official had tested positive. On his return from New Delhi, the official had gone to meet the functionary.
Only yesterday, Ladakh had reported 105 Corona positive cases including 36 in Leh and 69 in Kargil district.
With this, the UT of Ladakh now has 437 Corona positive cases including 116 in Leh and 321 in Kargil. Of them, 368 are active cases, 68 in Leh and 300 in Kargil. As many as 68 Corona patients have been cured with 47 in Leh and 21 in Kargil while there has been one Corona casualty.
“As many as 101 total positive cases have been admitted in COVID hospitals, 159 are in home isolation and 108 in COVID Care Centres,” the officials said.
They added that the administration was already expecting spike in Coronavirus cases in view of return of thousands of stranded persons of the Union Territory from different parts of the country as well as abroad who were held up at their places during lockdown.
In view of increase in Coronavirus cases, the Union Territory administration had declared entire UT of Ladakh as Red Zone and re-imposed virtual lockdown like restriction permitting only essential activities etc.
An order issued by District Magistrate Kargil Baseer-ul-Haq Choudhary said there will be complete ban on movement of commercial taxis, private vehicles and inter-district movement of vehicles from Leh to Kargil and back. Only vehicles having prior permission of the District Magistrate will be allowed to operate.
Only essential service shops have been permitted to open on rotation basis for which the roster has been issued by the District Magistrate.
“There will be complete ban on public transport. Restaurants will not be permitted to operate kitchen. Gathering of more than four people will remain banned,” the order said.
“Schools, colleges, educational institutions, training, coaching centres etc will remain closed. However, online/distance learning has been permitted. Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services except those meant for housing health/police/ Government officials etc for quarantine facilities will also remain shut. There will be ban on social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions/other gatherings and large congregations while all religious places and places of worship will remain closed, Religious congregations have also been strictly prohibited,” as per the order of the DM Kargil.
The new restrictions will remain valid till June 30.
Another order issued by District Magistrate Leh Sachin Kumar said public transport including buses/Mazda will not operate while private and commercial vehicles meant for non-essential services will ply on odd/even basis. However, some categories of vehicles especially those operating for emergency purposes and Government offices have been exempted from the purview of odd/even formula.
The order said the individuals can apply for e-passes in exceptional cases.
District Magistrate Ramban Nazim Zai Khan has also ordered that all shops in the district except those selling vegetables, fruits, meat and chicken will remain closed within Municipal limits of Ramban town on June 13 and 14.
Eight persons including three employees of the Government Medical College (GMC) Doda today tested positive for Coronavirus in Doda district today, SSP Mumtaz Ahmad said.
Of three GMC Doda positive cases, he said, two were Record Clerks and one Nursing Orderly, all Males. Five other positives of Doda district included a pregnant woman from village Malori in Khellani area, a middle-aged woman from Kastigarh and three males with travel history of Uttarakhand who were under administrative quarantine after their return.
All five positives of Doda have been hospitalized.
Eight persons including a Head Constable of Indian Reserve Police have tested positive for COVID-19 in Samba district.
The Head Constable hailed from village Nud and had returned on leave from South Kashmir district of Kulgam where he was posted in IRP 12 battalion. Three other positive cases of Samba were a 25-year old youth from Dug, Ramgarh, who had returned from Kuwait, another youth from Kumi Chilla Danga, who had returned from Srinagar in a truck and a patient, admitted in the District Hospital Samba.
Four other positives of Samba were travelers.
Five persons have reported positive for COVID-19 in Rajouri district. They hailed from Argi, Kalakote, Kandi and Lamberi and had travel history of New Delhi. All of them were under administrative quarantine and have been driven from quarantine centres to hospitals.
A 10-year-old girl of village Chakkar in Udhampur district today reported positive for the virus in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu. She had gone to the hospital on June 10 with burn injuries and was tested for the virus. She reported positive today and has been admitted in the Isolation Ward of the GMC Jammu.
Another traveler tested positive in Udhampur district.
Six persons were tested positive in Jammu district.
Kathua district has reported six fresh cases of Coronavirus today. All of them belonged to Hiranagar and were under administrative quarantine at the Government Higher Secondary School Hiranagar, District Magistrate Kathua OP Bhagat said.
With this, he said, 24 persons have reported positive for the virus in GHSS Hiranagar quarantine centre.
All six positives of today had returned from Kashmir.
Meanwhile, 900 more persons today entered Jammu and Kashmir from different parts of the country from Lakhanpur, the gateway to the Union Territory.
A youth from Shahpur Poonch who was under administrative quarantine tested positive today. He has been shifted from the quarantine centre to the COVID hospital.
Two persons including a pregnant woman have tested positive in Ramban district.
Thirty-five Corona patients were today treated and discharged from different COVID Hospitals. They included 18 from Ramban, 10 Kathua, three from Jammu and two each from Poonch and Doda districts.
As per the official figures, Jammu region now has 1135 Corona positive cases including 741 active cases. There have been 388 recoveries and six deaths.
Meanwhile, another ‘Shramik Special’ train carrying 1106 migrant workers today left for Bihar from Katra Railway Station, the officials said.