District Magistrate, Kargil, Baseer ul Haq Choudhary and SSP,Kargil, Dr. Vinod Kumar during a press conference.
To contain the spread of coronavirus, Baseer ul Haq Choudhary, District Magistrate, Kargil further tightened the lockdown restrictions in the district following the increase in the number of cases.
The restrictions will continue to remain in force till 30 June 2020 and the decision in this regard has been taken after approval of the UT Administration, discussions, and deliberations with the CEC, Kargil, and other concerned stakeholders.
Baseer ul Haq Chaudhary said that the decision can be reviewed as per the situation that unfolds in the days to come and further relaxations can be given if the situation improves.
While emphasizing the need to further strengthen precautionary measures and urging people to follow the SOPs and guidelines religiously, he said that the Administration will adopt zero-tolerance against those violating the SOPs and guidelines and the violators will be dealt strictly as per law.
The DM said that all shops except those dealing in essential commodities like grocery shops, chemist shops, hardware, carpentry, and other establishments of essential commodities will remain open. The shops will operate with proper SOPs in place with a focus on due care of wearing masks, the use of sanitizers, and maintaining 6 feet distance between customers while shopping.
“A separate roaster will be issued regarding the category, days and timings of the establishments and services permitted to open”, the DM said.
There will be a complete ban on the movement of all kinds of public transport and private vehicles. Only vehicles dealing in essential services like health, PHE, and other services of essential nature will be allowed to ply only after prior permission from the DM Office.
In case of any issue related to seeking of permission or in case of emergencies, people can contact the three 24x7 Control Rooms established at DM Office, SSP Office, Police Control Room (PCR) Kargil, respective SDMs, Tehsildars, and Duty Magistrates.
Underlining the need to put check on the to and fro movement of vehicles and people from Kargil Town and rural areas, the DM said that the SDMs, Tehsildars and Duty Magistrates will ensure that there will be no such unnecessary movements from now onwards.
While allaying the concerns and apprehensions of certain people as to why the test reports are not made available in time, he said testing of people for COVID-19 is a time-consuming process that has to be carried out systematically while ensuring strict observance of the SOPs and guidelines involving the collection and preservation of samples and then sending off from Kargil to NCDC New Delhi via Leh for testing and receipt of reports from there.
“Testing at the national level dealing with samples from Northern areas and other parts the country no doubt takes time and the safety of the lives of the personnel involved in taking swab samples also needs to be taken into consideration, and hence the testing of cases is possible only in a phased manner”, the DM said.
He appealed people whose test results are awaited to be patient and said that there are only a few backlogs and the results are expected in 2 to 3 days.
He further added that the Administration is fully committed to ensuring the institutional and home quarantine of around 16000 stranded residents and students who have arrived in the district from different parts of the country since May 5, 2020, collection of samples for testing, surveillance and all measures related to the prevention of COVID-19 as per the SOPs and guidelines of the Government from time to time and continued tangible steps are being taken in this regard.
He said that based on the level of vulnerability, areas have been demarcated based on continuous inputs from the surveillance staff, and all recent returnees and other persons, especially the suspected cases have been kept under strict quarantine and surveillance.
He further said that revisions in case of the scaling down and de-containment of containment zones are also being done systematically and professionally which is based on the ground situation and the inputs from the health agencies, Police, Revenue, and the surveillance staff.
Regarding the conduct of official work in Government offices, the DM informed that all offices will remain open and employees will be allowed to attend their offices on the production of I cards.
He urged people not to panic as all persons turned positive were already under the strict surveillance of the Administration and have been put under institutional quarantine. Also, he appealed them not to get complacent and ensure the observance of the social distancing, hygiene, and other necessary aspects of the SOPs and guidelines in letter and spirit.