CHATTA PIND (JAMMU): Armed with sticks, women at a hamlet in Jammu stand guard at entry points, which have been blocked by barbed wires, as they have taken it upon themselves to ensure a complete lockdown and prevent outsiders' entry into their hamlet to keep the residents safe from coronavirus.
Both mothers and daughters in the hamlet, barely a few kilometres away from Jammu city, have taken up this task as the number of coronavirus cases have shown an increase in the winter capital.
A 61-year-old woman succumbed to coronavirus at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu on Wednesday, taking the death toll due to COVID-19 to four in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is the first death in the Jammu region as the other three deaths took place in Kashmir.
While Jammu has accounted for 36 positive cases so far, the union territory reported 188 coronavirus cases.
Twenty-four cases were reported on Thursday.
For the past few days, a group of women, led by former sarpanch Gurmeet Kour, are guarding their hamlet from 9 am to 4 pm along with a few policemen at the barbed wire blocked entry points to the locality which houses over 6,500 people.
"COVID-19 is a deadly disease. It is our duty to support our police force and government in this war against coronavirus. So we have taken up the role to guard our small locality and insulate it from any outside contact," Kour told PTI.
She added that despite awareness, some people don't take any precaution and keep roaming which not only can infect them, in case of any contact but their family and locality as well.
"We want to keep our locality safe as cases in Jammu are increasing," she said.
Harmeet, 55, said that police cannot guard villages, locality or lanes to ensure lockdown.
"We felt it is our duty to contribute a bit by guarding our locality and relieving the police which is performing a large-scale duty in the time of lockdown. At least we can guard our own area." she said.
The number of red zones declared by the administration in Jammu and Kashmir has also witnessed a sharp jump taking the count to 45.
The number of red zones, areas which are a cluster of COVID-19 cases, has seen a spurt during the last few days.
Of the total red zones, 26 are located in Kashmir division while rest are in Udhampur, Rajouri, Samba and Jammu, according to an official source.