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Market rush fallout: Strict curfew imposed in Kashmir; govt says health workers, attendants exempted

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Srinagar:  Needy people are paying for the reckless behavior of Covidiots in Kashmir.

On Wednesday, police imposed a strict curfew to restrict the movement of the people. This followed a heavy rush in the markets on Tuesday.


 Wednesday morning saw doctors, medical staff, and even families of COVID positive patients pleading before the police. They were not allowed to go despite showing them ID cards and admit slips of patients.

Asif Majeed Bhat, whose father is admitted at JLNM Hospital, Rainawari said he was stopped at several places and asked to go back.

“Today morning when I was going to the hospital to deliver food and medicines to my father and the brother who is attending to him.  I was stopped at Maharaj Bazar. Despite pleading and showing photographs of my father’s admit card, I was not allowed to proceed ahead. As a result, I had to turn back and my sick father and brother had to go hungry today,” he said.

Similarly, Dr. Haifa Khan, a dental surgeon at Shifa Hospital Srinagar said, “I tried to show the policemen my hospital-issued ID Card but that did not work either. Our clinic is therefore shut for today and patients will suffer.”

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole told The Kashmir Monitor that the strict restrictions were imposed in the wake of increasing Eid rush and flouting of COVID SOPs.

“The instructions have been issued to allow the movement of health and frontline workers associated with COVID emergencies. We have also directed them to allow the attendants of COVID positive patients,” Pole said. 

Earlier the government had granted exemptions to certain sectors seemingly in view of Eid. Later In the evening, the administration flip-flopped and announced a complete ban on the movement. By then it was too late. People threw caution to the wind and thronged markets in Srinagar and other districts.