Amid COVID-19 surge, authorities close screening post at Railway Station Banihal risking lives

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Amid a huge spike in COVID-19 infections, authorities have closed the screening post for the disease at Railway Station Banihal in J&K’s Ramban district thereby risking disease spread through the unchecked travelers.

The check post, which was set up recently in the wake of a resurgence in infections had been crucial in monitoring the chain of transmission since then. 

Now with the facility shut by officials, thousands of train bound passengers travelling from Banihal have been entering into Kashmir without any testing thereby putting lives at risk. 

The winding up of the crucial facility has raised questions over the J&K administration’s COVID-19 control measures at a time when the government recently enforced a COVID-19 lockdown across the union territory. 

Speaking to Greater Kashmir over the matter, BMO Banihal, Dr Rabiya Khan cited paucity of staff for closing the check post. 

The shortage, she said, had been caused in the wake of several areas in Banihal having been declares containment zones even as several staffers had also been deployed for sampling and vaccination. 

As per Dr Khan, restoring the Railway Station check post would need at least  dozen staffers.

That said, the COVID-19 screening for road bound passengers was functioning as normal, she added.