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Clerics to village heads: Govt ropes in community leaders to fight COVID in Kashmir

Srinagar: The government has decided to rope in imams and clerics for propagating the use of masks in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID 19 in the valley.

Covid-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing a huge spike for the last few weeks. Till Friday, the total number of positive cases stood at 16,782. More than 300 people have died in the Union Territory since March this year.

 

Sensing trouble, the government has decided to seek help from the religious scholars, preachers and community leaders to prevent the spread of infection.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, PK Pole has asked Deputy Commissioners to utilize the services of religious scholars and preachers in the fight against COVID.

“The services of religious scholars shall be utilized. Penalties and fines shall be also imposed on violators as per the Health and Medical Education Department order,” reads the order of the divisional commissioner. 

An official said the deputy commissioners have launched a massive campaign to make people aware about the use of masks and maintaining social distance.

“Health department’s vehicles fitted with loudspeakers visit various areas and urge people to follow the norms,” he said.

Sources said the religious preachers have been already utilized to generate awareness among people. 

“Village and mohalla heads are also being taken into confidence to ensure that there is no violation. In many villages, constant announcements are being made through loudspeakers about COVID-19,” they said.

Till now the government has used several mediums including TV, radio, social media, and panchayats to generate awareness about the disease.

 Despite taking various measures, the curve has not been flattened. In fact, there are apprehensions about the community spread given the spike in the cases. Doctors too have cautioned against any laxity in the fight against the virus.