Baramulla administration fails to enforce strict lockdown in Tangmarg Red Zone

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By KNB on 07/04/2020.

Baramulla administration fails to enforce strict lockdown in Tangmarg Red Zone

“Family members of the COVID-19 patient seen in LPG distribution queue”

Tangmarg, April 7: Govt recently declared Solinda village of Tangmarg area as the red zone after second death from Covid-19 was reported from same village.Red zone. Since then four more people are tested positive, including three immediate family members of slain.

The red zone is declared to ensure proper surveillance by way of speeding-up screening and restricting people’s movement to stop transmission of contagion. However, shortage of essential items forced people, including immediate family members of corona positive patient, to come out of their homes and look for essential items. Fears are being expressed that the virus may have proliferated deeper in the locality.

 According to MoH & FW’S “Micro plan for containing local transmission of coronavirus disease” when RRT declares an area as containment zone based on extant of cases, human resources are deployed to effected areas/villages to conduct daily house visits and Search clinically suspect cases, Identify contacts of confirmed and suspect cases, Maintain line list of suspect/ confirmed cases and contacts, Monitor contacts daily and Inform Supervisory Medical Officer about suspect cases and their contacts. The administration is also required to create awareness among the community about disease prevention, home quarantine, common signs, and symptoms and the need for reporting suspect cases by distributing fliers, pamphlets and also by interpersonal communication.

Despite these guidelines from the Health ministry, people in Solinda, including immediate family members of COVID-19 positive patients of the village were seen roaming outside and not observing quarantine.

It is to be noted that as per guidelines the contacts of the laboratory-confirmed cases/ suspect cases of COVID-19 will be line-listed.

” These contacts will be tracked by assigned ANM/ASHA/Anganwadi Worker of that area and kept under home quarantine for 14 days. They will be monitored for clinically compatible signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for 28 days,” guidelines reveal.

When KNB contacted SDM Tangmarg Shabir Ul Hassan to know about the measures being undertaken to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and ensuring availability of essential items, he said, ‘ we have on war footings distributing  LPG cylinders in the village’.

On being asked about people not observing self-quarantine and absence of resource persons for counselling and create awarenessness about Home-quarantine, he said; ‘ there might have been some lapses, but we are ensuring the availability of health personals to counsel people and if they would still not comply, we would enforce it’.

Residents of Solinda village told KNB that the village faces an acute shortage of essential supplies. ‘There is a serious shortage of essential items in about 50 households in a village. Administrative apathy has forced people to come out of their homes and manage daily needs. Such is a shortage that a widow in his village feeds herself on rice-tea” one of the residents told to KNB. Rice-tea is cooked rice soaked in tea. In Kashmir, people take rice-tea in times of food scarcity.

 Since village has been declared as COVID-19 red zone, it becomes imperative upon administration to ensure surveillance and proper supply of essential items in a village, locals said.

When KNB contacted nodal officer Tangmarg Dr Tahir Ahmad for Covid 19 efforts to enquire about the shortage of supplies and lack of surveillance, He said: “people who don’t observe self-quarantine are insensitive and ignorant.” When asked about a shortage of commodities, he said” people in Kashmir, particularly in villages stock enough food and essential items to feed themselves for a year. It has been only six days since shops were ordered to shut in the village.

There is no shortage of food items, people are lying.” People expressed fears that administrative callousness could result in more people getting infected by the virus.