By LE Desk

Jammu/Srinagar, April 5: Following the surge in Covid cases, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, along with lower courts, has again switched over to virtual hearing.

An order issued by Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal stated that the hearing of cases in the HC as well as district and subordinate courts and tribunals will be conducted through virtual mode, the Hindustan Times reported.

Entry of litigants and public into the HC premises will continue to be prohibited.

“In addition to virtual hearing, the matters may also be taken up for physical hearing, where the learned counsel for both the parties to the give their consent for such physical hearing and if counsel for either party declines or fails to give such consent in that event the roster bench may consider the request of other counsel for physical hearing,” it read.

In order to decongest the sections, offices and courts, the officials will be permitted to function in batches with 25% on rotation basis. These directions shall remain in force till April 18, unless reviewed earlier.

J&K recorded 442 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the UT’s case tally to 1,33,454, health officials said on Monday. With two fresh fatalities in Kashmir division, the UT’s death toll reached 2,010.

Of the new cases, 280 are from Kashmir division while 162 are from Jammu. Eighty-nine of them are travellers. The number of active cases reached 4,154, officials said. On Monday, 241 patients recovered, which took the recoveries to 1,27,290 and its rate to 95.38%.

A faction of Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said hospitals in Kashmir were witnessing a surge in severe cases of Covid.

“A few weeks ago, we had seen a drop in number of severe cases, but they have increased again, much like what was witnessed last spring,” said DAK president Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

“Patients in large numbers are coming to hospitals with severe bilateral pneumonia requiring oxygen, while some need intensive care and support of ventilators to survive the respiratory distress. Our beds are full, oxygen points are occupied and we don’t have space in ICUs,” he added.

“Not only the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, but young people are reporting with severe condition too,” the doctor said. “The virus has once again become dangerous and is behaving aggressively,” Dr Nisar said.

Himachal Pradesh on Monday recorded 567 fresh infections, highest single-day spike this year, amid the National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, confirming one sample positive for UK variant of coronavirus.

The state’s tally reached 65,855 while death toll mounted to 1,063 after six patients succumbed to the contagion. A health department spokesperson said a doctor has tested positive for the UK variant in Solan.

Meanwhile, the active cases in the state have climbed to 3,828 while 60,855 people have recovered. A total of 268 recoveries were logged on Monday.

Dalhousie Public School cluster grows to 158

Dalhousie Public School (DPS) cluster in Chamba district has grown to 158. Among the patients are more than 120 students while others are staffers.

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