Srinagar, April 23 (GNS): People from Red Zone areas in Kupwara district on Thursday said that they are not being allowed to till their land and raised apprehensions of losing the harvest this year.
A number of residents of Muqam-e-Shahwali declared as Red Zone amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases, said that they are not being allowed to cultivate their agriculture land situated at Bumhama, Drugmulla, Gund, Brambri, Armpora and Shedipoda. “Most of the residents have land which falls outside the red zone area and we are not being allowed to till the land,” they told GNS.
Two persons from the area were allegedly beaten by men in uniform from venturing outside the village for agricultural purposes.
“We want to know what to do with the land. Shall we have to starve and allow the land to be barren?” they said and requested the higher authorities including Lieutenant Governor, GC Murmu , Chief Secretary and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to allow at least two members of each family to cultivate the land until the present crisis subside.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole told GNS that he will ask the deputy Commissioner Kupwara to sort-out the issue. Despite repeated attempts, Deputy Commissioner Kupwara could not be contacted.
Meanwhile, Public Health Expert at Red Zone Surveillance Divisional Control Room, Kashmir, Dr Rouf Hussain Rather Thursday advised people in COVID-19 red zones not to venture out of their homes except under medical emergencies.
He said that red zones become vulnerable as far as further transmission of the coronavirus is concerned and it becomes imperative for people to remain indoors to break the transmission chain of the disease.
“People should realize that the government is taking measures for the safety of their family and society. People in red zones should continue to follow lockdown norms and contribute their bit to ward off the infection. This will give government enough time to effectively fight the deadly disease,” he said.
He said that an area is declared a red zone when more than one person of that area is found to be Covid-19 positive. He said that declaring an area a red zone is for the safety of people and they should adhere to all the Standard Operating Procedures and healthcare guidelines issued from time-to-time.
Maintaining that Red zones are closely monitored by the health officials to check the spread of Covid-19, he said that if lockdown measures are strictly followed by people in red zones, that area will be removed from the list of red zone category after 28 days after the last patient of that area tests negative for coronavirus.
He said that if people in red zones need to come out for any health emergency, they should wear a mask and maintain social distance of at least one meter from others. Once they return to their homes they should wash their hands with soap for at least a minute.
While spelling out the insights on how to fight the corona pandemic, Dr Rather said that people showing any symptoms should immediately report to the nearest health authorities.
“If any person in red zone shows symptoms of cough, sneezing, breathlessness or sore throat, he should immediately contact health workers of that area so that timely measures will be taken. Hiding symptoms will do no good. People of that area should keep proper care of their health, eating habits, drinking water and do daily exercise within their yards,” he said
He also said that reports of the corona virus’s lethality vary by an order of magnitude and most people manage to recover from it.
“The coronavirus does not create much problem in most of the people except cough or cold. But if they will not report to the health authorities they will not come to know about the infection and will be carrying the virus without knowing it,” he said.
Five people have died so far in Jammu and Kashmir who had tested positive for coronavirus.
The expert warned that transmission of the virus to elderly and weak people will prove deadly to them, if timely measures are not taken.
He also advised people suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid, not to discontinue their medication at once to prevent any complications.
“Pregnant ladies in Red Zones should keep in touch with the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers and in case of emergency call 102 and 108. An ambulance will reach to their place and they will be shifted to a designated hospital,” he said.
He also appealed people to download Aarogya Setu mobile app launched by the central government to help people identify the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“People can also use the app to alert the authorities if they come in contact with a person infected with the deadly virus. The app is designed in such a way that it keeps a user informed through a beep on his mobile in case he or she has crossed paths with some person who has tested positive for coronavirus,” he added. (GNS)