JAMMU: A group of 24 labourers were sent to a quarantine facility in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday after they returned by foot from Kashmir, trekking the snow-covered high altitude passes over the past two days, officials said.
They were seen moving down from south Kashmir Shopian district to Thanamandi via Poshana along the old Mughal road and were subsequently taken to a medical unit at Dogrian for preliminary examination, a defence spokesman said.
Mughal Road, which connects the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu with Shopian district of the valley, usually remains closed for winter months owing to heavy snowfall along the Peer Ki Gali.
The snow clearance operation is underway and the road is expected to be thrown open for traffic next month.
"Army educated the group about the preventive measures, symptoms and care for coronavirus. Thereafter, they have been sent to a quarantine facility established by the civil administration in Surankote (Poonch)," the spokesman said.
Officials said the labourers set out for their village on Friday and braved inclement weather to reach Thanamandi.
"All of them are in good health. They have been taken to the quarantine facility as a precautionary measure," a police official said.
Meanwhile, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Police, NGOs and various other social and religious organisations reached out to the distressed people, especially migrant labourers, and provided them ration kits.
"In view of the prevailing situation arising due to outbreak of Covid-19, the JMC besides undertaking sanitation, spraying and fumigation drives also took steps to provide the dry ration to the needy and downtrodden persons living in the slum areas within its limits," an official of the Corporation said.
He said 11 sites were identified out of which three such locations including Panjtirthi Dounthli towards Circular Road, Bawa Basti Dogra Hall and Kabir Colony Dogra Hall have been covered.
"About 300 kits of dry ration comprising essential commodities like wheat flour and Rice (5 kg each), Dal, Salt and Sugar (1kg each), edible oil (1 Litre) and Onion and Potatoes (2 kgs each) have been provided to each family living there."
"The other locations would also be covered in the continuous drive for distribution of dry ration kits in slums within the limits of JMC," the official said.