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J&K govt urges people with foreign travel history to report to authorities as some evade screening

Srinagar deputy commissioner said authorities were concerned as the travellers would have mingled with the local population.

By PTI in Jammu
  • Published 25.03.20, 3:56 PM
  • Updated 25.03.20, 3:56 PM
  • a min read
Police punish offenders, seated in marked circles to maintain social distancing, who violated the lockdown guidelines by venturing out of their homes unnecessarily during the 21-day complete lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, at Vikram Chowk in Jammu, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. PTI

The J&K government has urged people to voluntarily report to authorities if they have a recent travel history to coronavirus-hit countries amid heightened concerns that those returning from abroad were evading screening and raising the possibility of the spread of the virus.

Srinagar deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said authorities were flooded with messages about travellers concealing their travel history, and urged them to "act responsibly" to break the chain of transmission.

He said authorities were concerned as the travellers would have mingled with the local population.

The government appealed to students, particularly, who have not declared their travel history and asked family members, neighbours to report such cases through helpline numbers 0191-2549676 at UT level, 0191-2520982, 2674444, 2674115 (Jammu division) and 0194-2440283, 2430581.

"Trust me if I share a summary of daily events NONE in Kashmir will sleep. Let's keep our egos aside, work collectively and instead of raising panic and alarm help each other to improve. This 3rd World War. Nothing less. If it passes we will have a Lifetime for all that," the senior official warned.

He said surveillance teams were able to track 29 people coming from Bangkok, the UK, Dubai, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan, who skipped medical teams by changing routes or avoiding travel history.

In another tweet, Choudhary said, "Two brothers. Same Medical College in Bangladesh. One travels by air, declares travel history lands in Quarantine. Other takes road goes home, probably enjoyed Wazwan. Smart neighbour informs Control Room. Team got in touch. Symptomatic. WHO guidelines lecture please?"

"A girl coming from US posed as Student returning from Bangladesh. A 'thick skinned babu' (as we are called) insisted on passport while allotting room, got to know. USA 3rd highest COVID cases in the world. I need to attend another lecture on WHO guidelines now!!," he said.

He cited another case of a man trying to evade the coronavirus protocol, saying a gentleman coming from Italy reached New Delhi via another port.

"Takes train to Jammu n Cab to home in #Srinagar. Just to hide travel history. Traced. Need collective focus to handle it. Things are not that simple as they appear from homes & office rooms. WHO guidelines anyone?" he tweeted.