“New containment zones to be completely shut”: Srinagar prepares for another lockdown

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Srinagar: Admitting that the COVID-19 situation is alarming in the Srinagar city, the district administration Sunday said that they are reframing the containment zones and that all new containment zones will be completely sealed to curb the spread of the virus.

One of the top officials in the District administration told a local news agency, Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS), that it is unfortunate people in Srinagar are not adhering to the government advisories properly. “People are not adhering guidelines properly. After analyzing the situation of the last two weeks we found that it is alarming in the Srinagar city and the spread pattern is disturbing,” the official said, wishing not to be named.

The official said that in this regard, the high-level meeting was held for the whole night yesterday, wherein the authorities decided to reframe the containment zones in the city. “New containment zones will be completely closed. There will be no commercial activity in these new zones and any other activity except opening of chemist shops, that too on valid passes from the district administration,” he said.

The official, however, added that “we will closely monitor the situation in three days, if people will not obey the advisories we will be forced to impose the complete lockdown.”

He said that there are clear directions to the police to ensure the restrictions in red zones as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that containment zone restrictions have been in place as per SOP. “Whenever containment/ red zone declared such areas are prohibited for movement except essential services. This is an ongoing regular procedure,” he told KINS.

The DC Saturday had said, “We took all stakeholders on board when we eased out restrictions. But the situation is very alarming now. One positive case is infecting 30 people. This means people are not taking precautionary measures. If we reimpose lockdown, we also have to think about those who are dependent on daily earnings for their survival. Those who are not taking precautionary measures should think about these people and are forcing us to reforce lockdown.”

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole had also told KINS that they are receiving requests from traders and doctors to reimpose lockdown. “We will take a final decision very soon,” he said.

Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation President Muhammad Yasin Khan had said that if government announces to re-impose lockdown, the traders will support it fully.

In its advisory, the government has exhorted upon the people not to step out of home, unless absolutely necessary. “If you have to move out for unavoidable reasons, ensure that you wear a mask and practice social distancing, personal hygiene and frequent handwashing with soap and water.” (KINS)

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