Govt mulling night curfew in J&K as COVID-19 cases surge

Jammu: In view of fresh surge in COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir, the Government mulled re-imposing night curbs across the Union Territory, making “area specific Containment Zones”, increasing RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), random sampling in schools and colleges and acting tough on those violating the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) like wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing.

The Government has also decided to go ahead with restrictions imposed at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir following fresh spread of COVID-19 in the neighbouring Punjab where number of cases of UK’s new virus have also been found.

Officials said that the Government is considering re-imposition of night curbs across the Union Territory in the next guidelines which are likely to be issued by the end of this month to keep Coronavirus under check. Existing guidelines are in place till March 31 and revised SOP will come into effect from April 1.

However, there is no proposal to enforce lockdown but the Government might authorize the District Magistrates to impose “area specific Containment Zones” where COVID positive cases are detected to prevent further spread of the virus.

Several States have imposed night curfew following surge in the cases and Jammu and Kashmir is also expected to revive night restrictions across the Union Territory from April 1 in the revised guidelines to be issued by the end of March.

However, it will not impose lockdown but authorize the District Magistrates to take decision on declaring some areas as Containment Zones in the event of spurt in cases.

The Government is likely to keep educational institutions including Schools and Colleges functional but might ask the Health Department to conduct random sampling of students and staff wherever necessary to detect isolated COVID cases which could give spread to the pathogen if not traced in time. (Agency)

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