Amid spike in Covid-19 cases, pregnant women employees exempted from physical attendance

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Srinagar: In a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus the government has exempted pregnant women employees from physical attendance in offices in Jammu and Kashmir (J-K).

The decision taken by the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, (DMRRR) state Executive Committee on 20 January 2022 said that pregnant women are allowed to work from home.

The order reads, “Pregnant Women employees will be exempted from physical attendance. They shall be allowed to work from home”. 

The decision was taken after atleast 24 pregnant women tested positive for coronavirus in late December at Kashmir’s lone maternity hospital Lal Ded. Experts had expected a rise in number.

In January the first infection caused due to the new Covid-19 variant – Omicron – that as per experts is more contagious than previous variants, was detected in a pregnant woman from Uri area of Baramulla district.

The Government order number 6 of JK, DMRRR reads that in continuation to the Covid-19 containment measures and powers conferred upon it under section 24 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 the decision was taken.

The order reads, “in continuation to the Covid-19 containment measures ordered vide  Government order number 4 of J-K (DMRRR) of 2022 dated 14-01-2022 and in reference to the task force meeting held under the chairmanship of chief secretary, J-K (chairman state executive committee) along with ACS (Finance), ACS (Health and Medical education), principal secretary to the Government PWD (R&B) & other Senior Health functionaries on 20-01-2022 regarding an increase in the number of COVID 19 cases in the entire J-K and the presence of variant of concern (Omicron) the state executive committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 24 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 orders the following”.

“That there shall be a complete restriction on non-essential movement in the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir from every Friday 2:00 pm to Monday 6:00 pm henceforth,” it said. However the decision was amended on Sunday as a seven-hour relaxation in the restriction was announced, keeping it from Friday 9:00 pm to Monday 6:00 am.

On 30 January when the Covid-19 restrictions were eased by seven hours it was as per media reports, reiterated that “Pregnant women employees shall be exempted from physical attendance. They shall be allowed to work from home”.

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