In a bid to contain the prevailing rise in COVID-19 infections in Kashmir, authorities have decided to test all incoming travelers coming by road along the Jammu-Srinagar highway at Lower Munda in district Kulgam.
News agency GNS quoted Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Mohammed Aijaz Asad stating this while chairing a meeting to review COVID-19 related situation at TRC here.
The DC Srinagar said that the testing for travelers coming by road shall be started in a couple of days hoping it would help in containing the spread of virus in the valley.
The DC further said that mass vaccination of hotel staff, drivers, houseboat staff and others concerned with the tourism sector as frontline workers shall be started across all tourist destinations to further contain the disease spread.
Besides, he said that a special COVID-19 related training programme shall be conducted for the staff members to ensure that all SOPs are followed strictly while dealing with tourists and catering their services to the tourism sector.
He urged tourism stakeholders to ensure proper sanitation and hygiene in all hotels besides keep two rooms available for isolation of tourists in case they test positive.
Emphasizing on strictly following the Covid-19 related SOPs, he said as shared responsibility, each stakeholder has to work with the concerned department as a team to ensure effective tourism as well as effectively dealing with the pandemic.
On the occasion, Dr Gazalla, in charge Covid-19 testing at Airport deliberated on the importance of vaccination, terming it as necessary to fight the pandemic.
She said that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe which ensures less morbidity and mortality incase vaccinated gets infected.
Various tourism stakeholders from Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg also attended the meeting and shared various concerns with the chair.
The tourism players raised various demands including hiring of separate hotel accommodation for isolation of infected tourists, permission to tourists to the valley only after their RT-PCR test reports, improvement in testing facility at the Airport and sanitation of hotels.
Commissioner SMC, Director Tourism, Director Health, CEOs of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg Development Authorities attended the meeting.