Kashmir shuts after govt imposes ‘weekend curfew’

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Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, capital city Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) on Saturday observed “weekend curfew” with all shops shut and minimal public transport playing on the road. 

Authorities on Saturday directed complete restrictions on non-essential movement on weekends in Jammu and Kashmir following an unprecedented spike in Covid-19 positive cases.

Business establishments in the region have been shut following the decision by the State Executive Committee (SEC), however public as well as private transport was seen operating on the city roads on Saturday morning.

Traders said that they had already arrived at shops to resume their business but police made them close their shops given the “weekend curfew” order. “We had no idea about the weekend lockdown as the news reached us late,” said a shopkeeper who wished not to be named.

A police officer while commenting on gatherings in markets and plying of the transport said, “people had left homes prior to the order reaching them (people) due to which transport is somehow operating, however, shops are closed”.

“We are putting efforts to implement the order properly without causing any inconvenience to people,” the officer said.

To contain the rising number of cases in the region, authorities have imposed night curfew – 09 pm to 06:00 am – across J-K since last week.

The government is also planning to take more measures to prevent the spread of the virus that has increased at least 10 times in the last fifteen days.

Following a ,major spike in infection cases in the region, authorities have also directed Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla, and Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Bemina, Director Health Services Kashmir, Chief Medical Officers to suspend all Out Patient Department (OPD) services in valley hospitals and put a hold on all elective surgeries.

Meanwhile, medical experts in Kashmir had told The Kashmir Walla earlier this week that the ensuing month is very crucial as the region may witness a spike in the number of infection cases and have asked people to observe Covid-19 appropriate behaviour to prevent themselves from the infection. 

Authorities in the region have also asked all the Government departments, offices to minimise conducting in-person meetings, interactions. 

“All Administrative secretaries, head of the departments, Institutions shall ensure optimal use of virtual mode for conducting official meetings etc,” SEC order reads.

The Deputy Commissioners (DC) have been also asked to focus on the positivity rates of the Medical-Blocks under their jurisdictions. “Intensified measures related to Covid management and restriction of activities shall be undertaken in these Blocks.”

The DCs have been also asked to keep active track of the positivity rates in their respective jurisdictions. “Strict perimeter control (Micro-Containment Zone) shall be implemented for localities where Covid-19 positive sases number reaches three and above. This shall be done to ensure no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services”.

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