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All educational institutes in JK shut till March 31

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CS reviews measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in JK

JAMMU: Chief Secretary, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam, Wednesday took stock of measures put in place by the Health Department to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir.

All Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM) and Director Information participated in the meeting.

Chief Secretary while reviewing the prevailing health situation in the UT, said that after the decision of closure of schools upto primary level, the Government has decided that as a precautionary measure, all educational institutions (Govt/Private) in J&K including College/Universities shall suspend their class work till March 31, 2020. However, all ongoing/scheduled Board and Competitive examinations shall not be affected by this decision.

Pertinently, the Divisional Administration, Jammu has already ordered closure of all Aanganwari centres and Cinema Halls in the province as a preventive measure.

Chief Secretary emphasized that people should be advised to defer or cancel their family functions and congregations. If not avoidable, they must reduce the size of gathering to bare minimal. It was advised that avoidable travel or movement should also be discouraged to minimize risk of transmission of infection. CS appealed to the general public to maintain social distance and avoid close contact.

Divisional and all Deputy Commissioners were asked to minimize, reduce or cancel all avoidable gatherings wherever possible in their respective jurisdictions, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of infection.

Chief Secretary asked all Administrative Secretaries and other senior officers to conduct meetings/interactions over Video Conference so as to avoid large meetings wherever possible. Further, he also asked them to have such meetings, workshops and seminars also deferred in their subordinate departments/offices, as a precautionary step.

CS said that as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI each Department has its own role to play so that there are coordinated efforts to meet out the evolving Coronavirus situation in the Union Territory.

Earlier, Financial Commissioner, Health, apprised the meeting about the present situation in this regard and preventive measures put in place to contain and manage the Coronavirus infection.

He informed the meeting that highest level of alertness is being maintained through proper screening checks at the airports, where 100 percent declaration is being strictly made to be followed, while as health desks have been put in place at railway stations for awareness of travellers.

Random road checks at the two entry points at Lakhanpur in Kathua and Qazigund (Lower Munda) in Anantnag, are in place with a similar check post at Katra to ensure that people visiting the Shrine do not miss screening for history of travel, contact or symptoms.

FC Health, further informed that Coronavirus lab testing facilities have already been started at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, Srinagar and Government Medical College, Jammu besides surveillance teams have been constituted across all districts to meet any kind of eventuality.

UT level Control Room has been established by NHM at Nagrota and Divisional Level Control Rooms also have been established which are functional 24X7. Besides, Deputy Commissioners have also set up such Control Rooms in their respective Districts, he added.

Details with regard to Isolation/Quarantine facilities and extensive Information, Education & Communication (IEC) campaign were also given out in the meeting.

While only one person has tested positive for the contagious coronavirus in the union territory, one man with high viral-load has been reported and his samples have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi, they said.

“All schools, colleges and universities of Jammu and Kashmir to suspend teaching and class work till March 31,” Director National Health Mission (NHM), Bhupinder Kumar, told reporters ahead of CS’s statement.

However, board and competitive examinations will be conducted as per schedule, he added.

“Cinema Halls in all 10 districts of Jammu province to remain closed till March 31,” Principal Secretary, Information, Rohit Kansal tweeted.

As many as 1,211 travellers and people in contact with suspected cases have been put under active surveillance, the NHM director said, adding that 150 of these have completed surveillance period of 28 days and 12 are under hospital quarantine.

He said 64 samples of suspected cases have been sent for testing so far and 28 of them have reported negative. Of the earlier two cases that were reported with high viral-load, one has tested positive and another is being re-tested, while reports of 35 people are awaited, he said.

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