With six coronavirus cases, all directly or indirectly linked to Delhi, emerging in Jhajjar in two days, the district magistrate issued orders Tuesday prohibiting movement of people from other districts and states into Jhajjar until May 3. Officials, however, clarified that there will not be any curbs on those with valid passes.
“People with valid passes will be allowed to move to and from the district, but vigilance has been increased to ensure no unnecessary movement takes place. The administration will also be more conservative about issuing passes now, so that movement is at a bare minimum,” said Sateesh Balan, the nodal officer for COVID-19 in Jhajjar district.
“It has come to our notice that employees/people from other districts are entering Jhajjar in large numbers daily because of which the potential for spread of coronavirus in Jhajjar cannot be denied… People found to be infected with coronavirus in Jhajjar have been directly or indirectly related to employees/people coming from other districts and states,” stated the order.
Of the six cases so far, including one on Tuesday, officials said four are relatives of a Delhi Police officer who tested positive in the capital last week. Over Monday and Tuesday, his parents, wife, and 18-month-old child also tested positive. Of the other two cases, one is a pharmacist working at a hospital in Delhi, the other a vegetable vendor who used to procure goods from Azadpur mandi.
District Magistrate Jitendra Kumar in his order Tuesday prohibited “employees/ regular people” from entering the district “without reason” until May 3: “With their patience and determination, residents of Jhajjar had so far managed to prevent coronavirus from entering the district, but due to some people who directly or indirectly were related to other cities, the infection has now surfaced in the district. Residents must now help to break the cycle of infection by remaining at home.”
Vigilance was also stepped up at other districts, including Gurgaon and Faridabad. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij warned that restrictions at borders would be more strict. He claimed several of those who tested positive in the state either work in Delhi and stay in Haryana, or have in some way been in contact with such people.
In an order issued late Tuesday, Faridabad District Collector Yashpal Yadav said restrictions will be imposed on “government employees and regular people” from other states and districts: “Doctors, paramedical staff, police, bank employees will be able to enter using ID cards only until 12 pm on April 29…” It adds all such persons will have to make arrangements to live at their workplaces.
The order, however, clarifies that vehicles transporting essential items, gas services, medicines and those involved in banking services will be permitted to enter the district. Similarly, no restrictions will be imposed on movement of ambulances.
“Movement passes issued by the competent authority of the central government in exceptional circumstances will be recognised,” it states, adding that the directions will be in force until May 3, and violators will be penalised under IPC Section 188.
At the Delhi-Gurgaon border on the NH-48, commuters took longer than usual to get through the checkpoint as Gurgaon police checked every vehicle. “We refused entry to 20-25 people travelling without justifiable reason and a valid pass,” said a sub-inspector at the checkpoint.
“Regulations at the border are the same as they have been through the lockdown — people with valid passes are being allowed movement. But vigilance has been increased,” said Gurgaon Police PRO Subhash Boken.
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