Taking more stringent measures to check the spread of COVID-19, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday asked all “foreign tourists or visitors” to not visit the Union Territory and suspended movement of all inter-state buses to and from J&K.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has also closed the yatra to the shrine.
“All foreign tourists and visitors coming to J&K will be quarantined,” said UT spokesperson Rohit Kansal. “Similarly, one hundred per cent quarantine will be imposed for all visitors from the Union Territory of Ladakh.”
A total of 2,802 people are under observation in the UT, Kansal said, adding that 2,128 are under home quarantine and 28 in hospital quarantine.
A total of 145 samples have been sent for testing, and 118 of them have tested negative, while report in 24 cases is awaited. Only three cases have been reported positive in the UT so far, he added.
Earlier in the day, an order by Transport Commissioner Pardeep Kumar said that “no inter-state bus service shall ply on inter-state routes with immediate affect till further orders”.
“The buses belonging to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which are presently outside the UT, shall not carry any passenger from outside the UT while returning back,’’ it added.
Meanwhile, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board asked pilgrims to “not plan their visit till the situation normalises completely’’. It said that the decision has been taken in view of the advisories issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the J&K government. “However, Pooja, Aarti and other rituals shall be held at the Holy Cave Shrine as usual,” it said in a statement.
The management committee has also banned the entry of devotees at the Chandi Mata temple in Bhaderwah’s Chinote area till April 4. On similar lines, other religious leaders are also advised to suspend all religious gatherings and functions, at least till March 31, said Kansal.
The J&K administration has also made self-declaration mandatory for all the people travelling in the train between Banihal and Qazigund. “Please ensure that all the inbound and outbound passengers coming through train up to Banihal and going back shall necessarily file the self-declaration form, with the details,” read a letter written by Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma to the Ramban District Magistrate.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines