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COVID-19: Govt draws a line between ‘life and death in J&K’

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The government in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Sunday evening issued new guidelines to be followed during the lockdown period which will be effective from tomorrow till further orders. The guidelines is a sort of a line between life and death amid the COVID pandemic that has tightened its grip across J&K.

Wahid Bhat | Srinagar

In an order issued, copy of which is available with groundreport.in, government stated that the instructions have been issued to regulate activities that are to be permitted during the extended period of lockdown (Unlock-1) in pursuance of the MHA order issued on May 30th.

The order stated that the instructions shall remain in force till further orders unless modified or withdrawn earlier. As per the order all schools, colleges, universities and other educational and training institutions including Aganwadi centres will continue to remain closed.

The order stated that all religious places and places of worship shall continue to remain closed for public till further orders and there will be restrictions on all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious functions and other large gatherings and congregations KNO reported.

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“There shall be no inter-province or inter-state/UT movement of individuals except after obtaining permissions or in permitted public transport after following prescribed health protocols,” the order reads.

The order also stated that there will restrictions on the movement of individuals for all non-essential activities between 8 pm to 5 am and district magistrates have been asked to issue specific prohibitory orders in this regard under section 144 of CrPC.

As per the order taxi and cab aggregators with driver and two passengers and maxi-cabs with 4 passengers are permitted to ply within the district or between green districts only.

“Inter-district public passenger transport vehicles (buses and mini-buses only) can operate with up to 2/3rd seating capacity for buses and up to 50 per cent seating capacity for mini-buses by any operator on routes to be notified by transport department between contiguous green districts,” reads the order.

The order also stated that there shall be complete probation on inter- district movement of individuals between green/orange districts on one side and red districts on the other side, between two red districts and crossing a red district except after following prescribed procedure.

As per the order all the passengers, returnees or travellers coming to JK whether by road, rail or air, will have to compulsorily undergo a Covid-19 RTPCR test following which they will have to be under a 14-day administrative quarantine till the test result is negative—

Activities which have been permitted in the entire UT include normal functioning of private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes (including OPD services), all E-commerce and Courier services, all agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and related activities and canteens/eateries at Bus stands, railway stations and airports, with passes in Red districts

As per the order all restaurants, including in hotels, can operate for home delivery and take away only, without dine-ins, subject to the SOP of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India.

“Hotels and hospitality services, can operate at 50% capacity, subject to the SOP of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, full protection gear and equipment should be provided to Hotel staff, details of guests with entire travel history to be maintained, only room service of food should be done instead of in dine-in restaurants, frequent sanitization of common areas and spaces to be done and necessary health precautions for guests and staff.”

The order states that all shopping malls can open except in Red districts where they will operate with 50% of shops open on alternate days to be regulated by the Deputy Commissioners concerned.

“There will be particular focus on shops in malls can open from 9 am till 7 pm, special markings for social distancing, wherever needed, air conditioning of Malls to follow guidelines of CPWD (temperature range of 24-30 degree Celsius, relative humidity in the range of 40-70% with adequate cross ventilation and intake of fresh air, food courts and dining facilities in Malls will not be allowed for dine-in purpose.

However, home-delivery take-away service is permitted. The order further states “Children’s gaming zones, gaming arcades and cinemas inside malls shall remain closed.” As per the order banks and financial services, liquor shops and manufacturing units, barber shops, saloons and parlours shall open

Auto-rickshaws with a maximum of two passengers, only intra-district are also allowed to ply and intra-district movement of individuals in vehicles is allowed with a maximum of 2 passengers, besides the driver, in four wheeler vehicles and with no pillion rider in case of two wheelers with passes in Red districts.

Marriage related functions, with not more than 50 persons maintaining social distancing, with permission required for the function in Red Districts have also been allowed.

“Funeral / last rites related rituals with not more than 20 persons maintaining social distancing.”

The order also states that all shops, including in market areas/ bazaars/ market complexes falling within municipal corporation limits in orange district will remain open from 9 a.m. till 7 p.m.

“There will be no parking on roads of bazaars/ market complexes/ market areas to prevent congestion and ensure social distancing, except where there is paid parking of the Municipal Corporation concerned and there are two free lanes for traffic flow.”

District Magistrates have been asked to regulate markets to ensure there is no congestion and social distancing is maintained.

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