Lockdown restrictions tightened in Kashmir due to spike in COVID-19 cases
Srinagar:The restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease were intensified in Kashmir on Monday as the valley entered the 40th day of its lockdown, officials said.
The decision to intensify the restrictions on the movement and assembly of people in most parts of the Kashmir valley was taken following a sudden spike in detection of fresh COVID-19 positive cases over the past few days, the officials said.
The security forces have sealed off main roads in most places in the valley and erected barriers at several other places to check the unwanted movement of people, they said.
The administration has said essential services including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions, while otherwise, only persons with valid movement passes are being allowed passage.
The declared containment or red zones across the valley have been sealed to ensure strict adherence to the standard operating procedure.
Markets across the valley were shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, the officials said.
Educational institutions across Kashmir are closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants were shut down more than a week before the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The lockdown in Kashmir has now entered its 40th day. While the Prime Minister announced the countrywide lockdown on the evening of March 24, the union territory administration here had on March 22 announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till March 31 as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
However, restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the Kashmir valley on March 19 to contain the spread of the infection. The measures were taken after the detection of the first positive case of coronavirus in the valley.
As many as 29 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Union Territory on Sunday. The total number of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir has reached to 523 and seven patients have died while 132 have recovered.
More than 66,000 people have been kept under surveillance including those who are either in government-established quarantine facilities or in home isolation.