COVID-19: Life remains crippled as restrictions further tightened in Kashmir

COVID-19: Life remains crippled as restrictions further tightened in Kashmir

Srinagar:  Normal life remained crippled for the 17th successive day even as restrictions on movement and assembly of people was further tightened on Sunday, a day after the highest number of 14 Coronavirus positive cases were recorded in Kashmir valley.

Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary on Sunday said at this critical stage the seriousness invested in ‘staying at home’ will decide the direction.

Seventeen more persons, including 14 from Kashmir and three from Jammu, were on Saturday tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the total number of infected people to 92 in J&K. This is the highest jump in the number of positive cases in Kashmir valley so far.

Official sources said that restrictions on movement and assembly of people has been tightened across Kashmir valley on the 17th successive day of lockdown. “Out of 92 positive cases, 86 are ‘Active Positive’, four have recovered and two have died,” they said.

Shops and business establishments remained closed while streets were deserted as locals voluntarily remained indoors due to scare following upward spiral in Coronavirus cases in the valley, where over 25 areas, which were declared as ‘Red Zones’, remained sealed and no one was allowed in and out of these areas. Police vehicles fitted with public address system were directing people since early this morning to remain indoors in view of imposition of restrictions under 144 CrPc, barring assembly of more than three people.

Sources said authorities have launched an aggressive contact tracing campaign to put all such persons under quarantine after taking their samples as per health protocol.

The administration also asked people to cooperate with it and warned of action against those violating prohibitory orders. Police has so far sealed many shops, hotels and educational institutes and arrested about 295 persons from Srinagar, Sopore, Handwara, Ganderbal and Anantnag in the valley since Tuesday. Police is using drones in some areas in Srinagar to announce restrictions on the movement of people as part of the 21-day lockdown to combat coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, all educations institutes, including schools, colleges and universities, remained closed in the valley, where train services and public transport were suspended. However, despite government asserting that arrangements would be made for online classes for children no such arrangement has been made so far even as high speed internet service remained suspended since August 5, when special status of J&K was scrapped.

The streets in uptown and civil lines were deserted as shops and business establishment were closed and traffic was off the roads. Security forces were deployed in these areas, where people alleged that security personnel were not allowing them to move out of their houses. Similar situation was witnessed in downtown, where people also alleged that they were not allowed to move out of their houses even to buy groceries and vegetables.

The main roads in downtown and SeK remained closed with barbed wires at Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara and Khanyar. Similar road blocks remained erected by security forces at Nowhatta, Rangar stop and Gojwara.

Similar reports of lockdown were received from other parts of the valley, including Kupwara and Baramulla in north, Budagm and Ganderbal in central and Anantnag, Pulwama Kulgam in south Kashmir. (UNI)

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