Fresh surge in COVID deaths, 14 succumb to virus
Sanjeev Pargal/Fayaz Bukhari
JAMMU/SRINAGAR/ LEH, June 20: The State Executive Committee (SEC) today ordered lifting of weekend curfew from eight of the 20 districts including Jammu and further easing of restrictions owing to significant improvement in the COVID situation even as Corona casualties today witnessed fresh surge with 14 persons succumbing to the virus in the Union Territory—seven each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions and 585 testing positive. Cases further declined to just 123 in the Jammu region.
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Among seven COVID casualties in Jammu, two were women including wife of an Army soldier, besides an ex-serviceman. Four deaths took place in Jammu district including two in RS Pura and one each in Marh and Akhnoor while three fatalities occurred at Doda—one each in Gandoh, Ghat and Bhaderwah.
A 37-year-old wife of an Army jawan hailing from Ward No. 8 RS Pura and 82-year-old man from Chowala RS Pura in Jammu district succumbed to Coronavirus in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu while 39-year-old ex-serviceman from Marh and 41-year-old man from Akhnoor died of virus in the private hospitals.
An 80-year-old man hailing from Butla Bhaderwah in Doda district, who was infected by pathogen, refused to go to hospital and succumbed to the virus at home while 50-year-old man from Ghat, Doda died 40 days after hospitalization in GMC Doda. A 65-year-old woman from Batyas Gandoh in Doda breathed her last in the GMC Doda due to the virus.
Meanwhile, the SEC today ordered lifting of weekend curfew from eights districts of Jammu and Kashmir including Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi and Udhampur in Jammu region and Shopian, Ganderbal and Bandipora in Kashmir, an order issued by the SEC Chairperson-cum-Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta said here this evening.
However, the night curfew would continue to remain in force in these eight districts from 8 pm to 7 am.
The SEC authorized the Deputy Commissioners to allow opening of paid and unpaid parks for the use of the public across the Union Territory, only after local assessment of the conditions and after due consideration, subject to COVID-appropriate measures.
In his order, the Chief Secretary said the decision was taken at a meeting of the SEC with focus on total weekly new cases (per million), positivity rate, bed occupancy, case fatality rate and vaccination coverage of targeted population.
“Whereas it was observed that as compared to the previous week, while significant improvement has been made by at least eight districts, there is need for further improvement in the interest of public health in all districts. Besides, some districts need intense efforts to reach desired levels. As such, there is a need to continue with existing COVID containment measures in these districts,” the order said.
Extending the ongoing restrictions till further orders, Mehta, who is also chairperson of the SEC, however announced relaxation in the eight districts on account of significant improvements in the COVID situation.
“There will be no weekend curfew in these districts. However, daily night curfew will continue to exist from 8 pm to 7 am. District Magistrates concerned shall issue orders under CrPC to this effect,” the order said.
All outdoor shops and trades are permitted to open on all days, only from 7 am till 7 pm, 50 percent of the shops in the indoor shopping complexes and Malls can open subject to a roster to be issued by concerned Deputy Commissioners and all Government and private offices can function without any restrictions subject to strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour, it added.
In the rest of the 12 districts, including Srinagar, the order said the weekend curfew from Friday 8 pm till Monday 7 am and daily night curfew from 8 pm till 7 am shall continue to remain in force.
“All outdoor shops and bazaars are permitted to open on five days in a week (except on Saturdays and Sundays), while 25 percent of the shops would open in indoor shopping complexes and Malls to a roster to be issued by the Deputy Commissioner concerned,” the order said.
“The District Magistrates shall strictly ensure that there is full compliance to COVID-appropriate behaviour and defaulters are firmly dealt with under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code,” the order said.
The SEC asked the District Magistrates to constitute joint teams of Police and Executive Magistrates for enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, out of 123 COVID cases in Jammu region, the highest 25 were registered in Doda district, 21 each in Jammu and Poonch, 13 Kishtwar, 11 Ramban, nine each in Udhampur and Reasi, eight Rajouri and six in Kathua district while Samba district didn’t report any cases today.
As against 123 cases, 431 today recovered from the virus with Poonch district accounting for maximum 107 recoveries, Ramban 78, Jammu 67, Doda 57, Rajouri 31, Udhampur and Kishtwar 24 each, Samba 18, Kathua 15 and Reasi 10.
Jammu region now has 1,18,278 Corona cases. Among them, 3042 are active positives while 1,13,165 have recovered from the virus and there have been 2071 casualties.
Highest 1124 COVID fatalities have been recorded in Jammu district followed by 213 in Rajouri, 149 Kathua, 131 Udhampur, 118 Samba, 107 Doda, 87 Poonch, 60 Ramban, 40 Kishtwar and 42 in Reasi district.
Meanwhile, one person died of COVID and 53 tested positive in the Union Territory of Ladakh today.
The casualty was reported from Kargil district where 60-year-old man hailing from Damtal in Himachal Pradesh and presently putting up at Main Market in Drass succumbed to the virus.
Out of 53 persons who were found infected by COVID-19 today, 51 were reported from Leh and two in Kargil.
Fresh cases have taken Corona count in Ladakh to 19783 including 432 active positives and 19150 recoveries besides 201 casualties—143 in Leh and 58 in Kargil.
Meanwhile, Kashmir reported 462 fresh COVID-19 cases and seven people succumbed to virus.
Those who died today include a 50-year-old man from Bijbehara, a 60-year-old woman from Kupwara’s Dardpora a 78-year-old man from Palpora Chatripora in Pulwama and an 85-year-old man from Chakoora in Pulwama.
Srinagar reported 136 cases, Baramulla 38, Budgam 69, Pulwama 22, Kupwara 30, Anantnag 35, Bandipora 29, Ganderbal 47, Kulgam 51 and Shopian 5 cases of viral infection today.
Moreover, 1354 more COVID-19 patients have recovered including 923 from Kashmir.
As 298911 people have recovered, the number of active cases has reduced now to 8631 including 5589 in the Valley.
In the meantime, District Magistrate Anantnag today ordered that no sports tournament shall be organized in the South Kashmir district without administration’s permission.
The order has been passed to avoid spread of infection through “illegal sports” activities, the Deputy Commissioner said in an order.
“In order to contain COVID-19 infection, various containment have been put in place including restrictions on gatherings,” the order read.
“It has come to the notice of this office that some sports events are being conducted in violation of the containment measures/guidelines issued by SEC, in which large number of spectators turn up without observing Covid appropriate behaviour/SOP, which has the potential to spread infection and put the public health to a potential risk,” the order said and stressed need for putting in place necessary measures to avoid spread of infection through these “illegal sports activities.”
“In view of the above, it is hereby ordered that no sports activity (tournament) shall be organized in the district without obtaining written permission from Assistant Commissioner Revenue/Sub Divisional Magistrate,” the order said, adding, “Any violation shall be dealt under the provisions of IPC and Disaster Management Act 2005.”