Spike in Corona cases: 15-day-old child, many women among 32 test +ve in Jammu; tally 207

Shops open in a Jammu City market on Wednesday.
Shops open in a Jammu City market on Wednesday.

Business activity resumes in Jammu distt after 2 months
2 trains carrying labourers leave for Chhattisgarh, MP

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, May 20: After about two months of lockdown, life limped back to near normal in Jammu district following relaxations given in lockdown 4.0 with shops opening and transport barring buses and matadors hitting the roads as people mostly adhered to social distancing as part of guidelines issued by the Government even as Jammu region recorded single day highest 32 Corona positive cases today including 18 in Jammu district, eight of them from Preet Nagar Digiana, majority of whom were women besides a 15-day old male baby, taking total number of cases to 207 while four COVID patients-two each from Jammu and Udhampur districts were treated and discharged. Click here to watch video
18 positives from Jammu district, five corona cases from Udhampur (including an old woman of the town with no travel history), four from Kishtwar, two from Samba and one each from Poonch, Ramban and Reasi districts. Eight positives in Raipur Satwari and one in Preet Nagar, Digiana in Jammu district were contacts of a Corona casualty in Digiana including family members of co-brother-in-law of the deceased. A couple of Bari Barahamana in Samba district with travel history of New Delhi also tested positive.
With today’s 32 cases, 42 persons have tested Corona positive in Jammu region during last two days. However, experts attributed spike in the cases to return of nearly 5000 stranded persons daily from trains in Udhampur and Jammu Railway Stations and in buses from Lakhanpur.
Two more trains carrying labourers from the Jammu region left for Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh from Katra today while two more trains for the same States are scheduled to leave from Katra tomorrow. The train to Chhattisgarh carried 1037 labourers while 1348 were on board the train to Chattarpur, Madhya Pradesh. A train had left Chhatarpur yesterday also carrying 1184 labourers.
Tomorrow two more trains will leave Katra for Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Nodal Officers for Katra including Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar and CEO Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Ramesh Kumar are supervising return of labourers to their home States from Katra.
All shops reopened in Jammu district today after nearly two months of lockdown. Though there was rush of shoppers at some places, the people maintained social distancing and were seen wearing masks.
Deputy Commissioner Jammu Sushma Chauhan told the Excelsior that no violation of social distancing from any market areas of Jammu was reported during relaxation and resumption of business activity. However, she said, parking problems were observed in some areas but the vehicles were immediately got vacated with the help of police.
“Shopkeepers have been told not to allow parking of vehicles outside shops. The vehicles will be removed and challaned if they are found parked on the roads,” she said, adding this was necessary to keep roads free of congestion.
Chauhan said 300 labourers were today sent in the buses from Jammu to Katra for their onward journey to Madhya Pradesh in the train.
Meanwhile, 150 people were today allowed to go for home quarantine from administrative quarantine in Jammu district after they tested negative for COVID-19, the District Magistrate said.
Private vehicles moved freely on the roads. While only three travelers were allowed in four-wheelers, no pillion rider was allowed on bikes. Private offices also started functioning today though with limited strength.
In major markets, shopkeepers were seen sanitizing, cleaning and maintaining their goods as they opened shops after nearly two months. Some shopkeepers reported damage to their goods but majority said they were intact and welcomed the Government decision to open shops saying this will not only help them but their workers as well as people.
However, buses and matadors remained off the roads in line with the Government guidelines while auto rickshaws were seen plying on the roads in Jammu district.
Private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes today also started resuming their services at some places.
At majority of places, people on their own were seen maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.
However, in Red Zone districts of Kathua, Samba and Ramban, shops selling essential commodities and few shops of non-essentials, permitted by the District Magistrates, opened on rotation basis while majority of shops remained closed.
Even in Orange Zone districts of Reasi and Udhampur, not much activity was noticed today. Almost, similar was the case in Green Zone districts of Rajouri, Poonch and Kishtwar. However, in Doda, which also falls in Green Zone, number of shops were open.
District Magistrate Udhampur Dr Piyush Singla today ordered opening of shops in Bazaars from 9 am to 5 pm from tomorrow without parking but public transport will remain shut. Hospitals, private clinics, saloons and barber shops will also open while restaurants have been allowed to provide home delivery. He, however, directed the eateries and restaurants to get their working staff medically screened from District Hospital/CHC before allowing them to resume work.
“No permission will be required for the people of Udhampur to travel to Jammu and Reasi districts, both of which are Orange Zones. Vehicular movement to Ramban will remain prohibited as it is Red Zone district. Industries have been allowed to work with 50 percent staff strength. E-commerce and courier services are also permitted while administrative work of schools and colleges has been allowed with minimum staff strength,” the Deputy Commissioner Udhampur said.
He added that shop owners and establishment Managers will be responsible for violation of social distancing norms and improper hygiene.
Meanwhile, out of 18 persons tested positive in Jammu district today, nine hailed from Raipur Satwari (8) and one from Preet Nagar Digiana. They included five women and a 15-day old male baby.
DC Jammu Sushma Chauhan, SSP Jammu Sridhar Patil and SHO Satwari Police Station Gurmeet Singh rushed to Raipur Satwari to review situation and supervising the shifting of positives to COVID Hospital. Eight of them were family members of co-brother-in-law of an elderly person from Preet Nagar, who had recently died of Coronavirus and was second COVID casualty in Jammu region.
District Magistrate Jammu Sushma Chauhan has declared Raipur Satwari as Containment Zone and restricted both inward and outward movement of the civilians excepting for medical emergency and essential needs.
A 37-year-old man and his 31-year-old wife, residents of Ward No. 1, Bari Barahamana in Samba district, who had recently returned from New Delhi, have tested positive for COVID-19, and have been shifted to hospital, SSP Samba Shakti Pathak said.
A 73-year old doctor from Trikuta Nagar, Jammu, who was on dialysis and had visited the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu for treatment, has been reported positive for Coronavirus.
Eight more residents of Jammu district including a 17 year old female resident of Narwal and 28-year-old woman from Ganesh Vihar, Lower Muthi, all of whom were under administrative quarantine in Akhnoor, also tested positive for COVID-19.
Of eight, two hailed from Narwal and one each from Shamachak, Ganesh Vihar (Lower Muthi), Batehra, Gandhi Nagar, Pargwal and Badyal Brahamana (RS Pura).
District Magistrate Udhampur Dr Piyush Singla said five persons from Udhampur district today tested Corona positive including a 65-year-old woman from Shakti Nagar in the town, who had no travel history, and four workers, who had returned from different parts of the country in trains and buses. They have been admitted in the designated COVID Hospital of Udhampur
Four residents of Kishtwar district today tested Corona positive, District Magistrate Rajinder Singh Tara confirmed to the Excelsior.
Tara said all four hailed from Dachchan and were under administrative quarantine. While three had travel history to New Delhi, fourth had returned from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
A 19-year old youth from Karam Katha, Reasi, 22-year-old boy from Ramnagar in Udhampur, a youth from Surankote in Poonch district and a worker from Ramban district, all of whom were returnees, also tested COVID positive today.
Meanwhile, a 61-year old man from Gurha, Bakshi Nagar in Jammu district and his son tested negative today for second time and were declared as treated from Coronavirus and discharged from the Chest Diseases Hospital, Medical Superintendent Dr Rajeshwar Sharma said. Man’s wife was discharged yesterday.
Two COVID patients from Udhampur were also cured successfully and discharged today, Dr Sharma said.
A total of 66 patients have recovered so far while there have been two deaths. There are 139 active cases in Jammu region now.
Meanwhile, government has transported over 78902 of J&K, residents stranded outside UT due to lockdown imposed in the wake of global pandemic, back to their hometowns through COVID special trains, buses and flights.
An official statement said the government has evacuated 61354 residents of J&K, stranded in various other states and UTs, through Lakhanpur besides bringing back home about 17047 people through special trains at Jammu and Udhampur railway stations. Besides 501 passengers including students have been brought back through special flights, so far.
1862 stranded passengers entered through Lakhanpur from May 19 to May 20 morning while 961 passengers have reached today in the 7th COVID special AC train at Jammu Railway Station besides about 1861 passengers reached Udhampur railway station from Bengluru, Habibganj and Bholapur in three special trains.
So far, seven trains have reached Jammu with a total of 6469 stranded passengers belonging to different districts while 10578 passengers reached Udhampur in 13 special trains, so far. Besides, special trains carrying about 1100 passengers from Ahmadabad is expected to reach Udhampur by this evening, the statement said.

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