STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Concerned over the spike in coronavirus cases, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday restricted the ceiling on social gatherings to 100 people and also announced the postponement of Class 11 examination, even as the Union Territory reported 1145 new cases and 3 more fatalities during the past 24 hours.The latest directive comes two days after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha-led administration deferred biannual ‘darbar move’ to Srinagar, extended closure of all schools up to and including Class 12 till April 30 along with private coaching centres. It also cancelled the ongoing Class 10 examination being conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE).In view of #COVID-19, class 11th exams have been postponed. There will also be ceiling on gatherings and functions restricting to 100 persons from earlier 200, the office of the Lt Governor said in a tweet.There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Jammu and Kashmir over the past one month. On Friday, the Union Territory recorded 1,144 new COVID-19 cases, including 180 travellers, taking the infection tally to 1,44,021, while two more coronavirus-related deaths pushed the toll to 2,048.On April 15, the Jammu and Kashmir administration came out with a series of COVID-control measures and announced deferment of the bi-annual darbar move, over a century-old exercise under which the government functions six months each in the twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu.The civil secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government, and other move offices including the Raj Bhavan were scheduled to close in Jammu on April 30 to May 1 and set to begin functioning in summer capital Srinagar from May 10.“In view of sharply rising cases of COVID in J&K, the government has taken a few important decisions ensuring safety of employees. Darbar move deferred because of COVID. Secretariat to function in both #Srinagar & #Jammu. Office functioning not to be affected because of e-Office,” Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said in a series of tweets on Thursday.The administration has also ordered the cancellation of Class 10 examination and the postponed of Class 12 papers, besides ordering testing of all incoming travellers at Lakhanpur and inter-state movers at Thandi Khui in Samba district. It also ordered the closure of private coaching centres till April end.In a related development, Jammu and Kashmir administration has constituted a committee to ensure adequate and timely supply of medical oxygen to all hospitals to meet the requirements of COVID-19 patients, an official order said.The committee would be headed by the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce department, the order issued by Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department, said.Divisional commissioners of both Kashmir and Jammu regions, Director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (Soura), Principal Government Medical Colleges (Srinagar and Jammu), director of (J&K ) National Health Mission, Director industries and commerce (Jammu/Kashmir) and director Health and family welfare (J&K) and director health services (Jammu/Kashmir) are other members of the committee.The committee has been asked to meet frequently and make necessary arrangements for ensuring regular and adequate supply of medical oxygen to all hospitals to meet any current and future needs, it said.The other terms of the reference, include ensuring adequate stocking of medical oxygen, wherever necessary, the order said.Srinagar’s premier tertiary care hospital, Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS), shut down its out-patient department (OPD) services in the wake of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the union territory.In an order, the hospital administration said the decision has been taken in view of the surge in the cases and in order to cater to the rush of COVID-19 patients/suspected cases.“All routine OPDs/ elective surgeries shall be stopped till further orders and only surgeries of emergency nature, malignancies, thesis related cases and other referral cases shall be entertained,” the order said.The administration designated various wards including isolation/drug de-addiction centre, paid rooms, MICU, SICU, and disaster management ward as COVID-19 wards.The patient load vis- -vis duty roster of doctors and paramedical staff should be regulated and rationalized, the order said.Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir has recorded 1,145 fresh COVID-19 cases, including 195 travellers during the past 24 hours, bringing the infection count to 1,45,166, while three more people succumbed to the virus, raising the toll to 2,051, officials said.Of the fresh cases, 503 were from the Jammu division and 642 from the Kashmir division, they said.The officials said Srinagar district recorded a maximum of 319 new COVID-19 cases, including 47 travellers, followed by 264 in Jammu district and 112 in Baramulla district.The number of active cases has now reached 10,910 in the Union Territory, while 1,32,205 patients have recovered so far from the infection, they said.
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