COVID-19: Infected senior IAS officer violates protocol?

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SRINAGAR — A day after a top bureaucrat was tested positive for COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, the claim being made by the government that COVID-19 protocol is for everyone, proves a myth only to hoodwink common people.

With partial resumption of air travel, a senior IAS officer was recently nominated as Nodal Officer to oversee arrangements at Srinagar Airport. He finalized the standard operating procedure (SOP) for receiving and facilitating the passengers at the Airport.

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As per the protocol being followed in Jammu and Kashmir under the Disaster Management Act, all passengers coming to the Jammu and Kashmir by air shall be kept in Institutional quarantine for 14 days and tested for COVID-19. Their sampling shall be done at the Srinagar Airport and transport arrangement to their respective districts has been put in place.

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The test samples shall be sent to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and those passengers who test negative shall be sent home and if positive, sent to hospital.

Well placed sources said that this senior IAS officer himself violated this protocol and put the lives of other people, mostly bureaucrats in danger.

Sources said that after attending a meeting here in Srinagar Civil Secretariat, the senior IAS officer took a flight to attend another meeting in Jammu. At Jammu Airport, his samples were taken but he was not quarantined and instead allowed to leave for Civil Secretariat. “As per the protocol, he was supposed to be quarantined, till the report of his test would have surfaced. But, he didn’t wait and attended a high level meeting in Jammu.”

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All the officers who participated in the meeting have now been quarantined after the test of this senior IAS officer was tested positive for COVID-19.

Sources said that 41 top rank officers in Srinagar and 45 from Jammu have isolated themselves and quarantined themselves at home.

“Rules are for everyone and everyone should follow them. This IAS officer breached the protocol and forced 86 top officials to get quarantined. If such incidents occur in future with impunity, then I am afraid whole bureaucracy in Jammu and Kashmir will come to a grinding halt,” said an official.

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