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States can impose local restrictions to check Covid spread: Home Ministry

(Asian News Hub) – The Centre on Tuesday issued a fresh set of COVID-19 guidelines for the month of April asking the states to strictly enforce Test-Track-Treat (T3) protocol, other containment measures and step up the speed of ongoing vaccination drives in the country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its order said the Government of India has launched the world’s largest vaccination drive against COVID-19, which is going on smoothly, but the pace is uneven across different states and Union Territories (UTs).

“The slow pace of vaccination in some states/UTs is a matter of concern. Vaccination against COVID-19, in the present scenario, is critical to break the chain of transmission.

Therefore, all state/UT governments should rapidly step up the pace of vaccination, to cover all priority groups in an expeditious manner,” the MHA said.

Talking about the main focus of the guidelines, the MHA in its order said states and UTs collectively need “to consolidate the substantial gains achieved in containing the spread of COVID-19”, which was visible in the sustained decline in the number of active cases, continuously for about five months. 

It, however, said, “Keeping in view a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, which is being witnessed in some parts of the country, the guidelines mandate the state/UT governments to strictly enforce the Test-Track-Treat (T3) protocol in all parts of the country and ensure observance of COVID appropriate behaviour by everyone.”

The MHA has also asked that in states and UTs, where the proportion of RT-PCR tests is less, they should rapidly increase it to reach the prescribed level of 70 per cent or more.

“The new positive cases, detected as a result of intensive testing, need to be isolated at the earliest and provided timely treatment. Even their contacts have to be traced at the earliest and similarly isolated,” it said.

Asking for listing of containment zones, the MHA said they should be notified on the websites by the respective District Collectors and by the states/UTs. This list will also be shared with MoHFW on a regular basis, it added.

Asking for fixing accountability at the local level, the MHA in the guidelines said district, police and municipal authorities “shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed”.

“For strict enforcement of wearing face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing, states and UTs may consider administrative actions, including imposition of appropriate fines,” the MHA said. 

The guidelines have allowed restrictions only at the local level, based on the assessment of the authorities at district/sub-district and city/ward level, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19.  

AGENCY

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Disengaged ICDS helpers have no appointment orders, were accommodated through backdoor entries: Advisor Farooq Khan

Says govt has devised scheme through which lot of qualifying helpers will be back to department; Kashmir was never peaceful as today in past 31 years

(Asian News Hub) – Farooq Ahmad Khan, Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor, Manoj Sinha Wednesday said that all the ICDS helpers who were engaged in the department have no appointment order, however, the government tried hard to accommodate them, which could not happen.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, Khan as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that all these helpers were brought into the department through backdoor entries as none of them have any appointment order.

“We have been trying hard for the last one year to somehow accommodate them, but it did not happen as nobody has any appointment order. Now we have devised a new scheme, where we are creating several posts for these helpers and those who will be qualifying for the post, we will give them extra marks in the interview for their experience,” Khan said.

Also Read: Dozen sheep killed in cloudburst in Ganderbal

He said that through this mechanism lot of these helpers will be back to the department and urged the helpers no to choose agitation as a way as government is trying to ensure that nobody remains unemployed in Jammu and Kashmir.

Also Read: Post Feb Ceasefire pact, Gurez peaceful; people living without fear: Lt Gen D P Pandey

He also said that there has been nothing wrong done to anybody especially after August 05, 2019 and if there wrong happening it is because of the mistakes done in the past by those who befooled the people of Jammu and Kashmir was never so peaceful as today in the past 31 years,” he said.

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Youth injured in firing incident in Baramulla

(Asian News Hub) – A youth was injured in firing incident at Azad Gunj area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday.

Reports reaching GNS said that youth identified as Mohsin Solih of Iqbal Colony Baramulla was injured in firing allegedly by security forces.

Also Read: Post Feb Ceasefire pact, Gurez peaceful; people living without fear: Lt Gen D P Pandey

While circumstances leading to firing were not known immediately, the youth has been shifted to Srinagar hospital. He has reported suffered injury in leg.

More details will follow.

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Dozen sheep killed in cloudburst in Ganderbal

(Asian News Hub) – At least a dozen sheep died after a cloudburst hit Laman Wangath Naranag area in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said here.

Officials told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the cloudburst hit Laman Wangath Naranag area and left around a dozen sheep dead and several others injured.

Also Read: Post Feb Ceasefire pact, Gurez peaceful; people living without fear: Lt Gen D P Pandey

They said that the livestock belonged to Bakarwal of Ganderbal, while a police party has been deputed to the spot to access the loss.

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