SRINAGAR: Looking at the fresh wave of COVID-19 pandemic in J&K as thousands of cases are being reported every day, the authorities have taken some important measures on war-footing basis like imposition of weekend lockdown and others. All hospitals in Kashmir, that were designated as COVID-19 hospitals during second wave will again be reserved for COVID-19 while OPDs and elective surgeries in all tertiary care hospitals have been postponed. These are some of the fresh containment measures ordered by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole.A senior official of administration told that teams are ascertaining emerging situation on daily basis and any decision regarding closure of public parks and gardens in the city will also be taken at an appropriate time. However, reports are pouring in that COVID-19 protocols are being breached in public parks and gardens by visitors, thereby posing a grave risk for entire community in wake of resurgence in pandemic. Despite all necessary measures in place, Floriculture and Tourism departments are in a fix and yet to take a call about closured of public parks and gardens in city and tourist spots in Kashmir.Meanwhile, Director Floriculture Kashmir has said that department is bound to obey the orders from the district administration and can’t shut any park or garden on its own. He said in past when pandemic escalated in the valley, we took several measures including enforcement of COVID-19 protocols in letter and spirit. He further said that circumstances at this point is ‘dissimilar’ as due to cold, majority of people refrain from visiting parks & gardens and prefer to remain indoors. “Despite harsh weather conditions, the Department has still put all SoPs in place to contain virus spread”, he added.Earlier, coaching centres across the valley have been directed to stop offline educational activities and impart educaation through online mode. Cluster University Srinagar on Saturday deferred offline examinations in view of spike in COVID cases due to new virus variant Omicron, but general public is asking the administration why tourism activities are still going on if curbs have been imposed as thousands of tourists are coming to Gulmarg and Pahalgam and many other places in Kashmir from across the country.More than 65 students, who were participating in winter games in Gulmarg, were recently tested positive. At that time, there were about 600 students in Gulmarg who were busy in training for winter games.Block Medical Officer Tangmarg, Dr Sabha told STATE TIMES that all the students present in Gulmarg have departed. We are very cautious and not a single person is allowed to go to Gulmarg without COVID negative certificate and rapid test, said Dr Sabha, adding, “Unless we get any direction from administration , we are alert and doing our best round the clock.”Pertinently Jammu & Kashmir reported thousands of positive cases on each day, as Srinagar district topped the list alone in the Kashmir division. There has been a huge spike in pandemic cases from last week after which divisional administration re-imposed COVID-19 curbs and ordered night curfew across valley to contain the spread. The administration also ordered Director SKIMS, Principal GMC Srinagar and Principal MCH- Bemina Srinagar to depute final year MBBS students and final year Nursing/Paramedic students to Deputy Commissioner Srinagar’s office for further deployment as per requirement. Also, the enforcement teams constituted by district administration have been put on toes to enforce COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).
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