Curbs Tightened In Kashmir Following Spike In COVID-19 Cases

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Forces personnel stand guard at a checkpoint in Srinagar. KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Curbs imposed in Kashmir to contain the spread of coronavirus have been further tightened following a spurt in the number of cases over the last few days, officials said here.

The restrictions on movement and assembly of people in the Valley entered the 41st day on Tuesday, they said.

State forces have sealed off the main roads in most places and installed barriers at several others to enforce the lockdown, the officials said.

The administration has said essential services, including healthcare personnel, are exempted from the restrictions, while otherwise, only people with valid movement passes are allowed passage.

The declared containment or ‘red’ zones across the Valley have been sealed to ensure strict adherence to the standard operating procedure, the officials said.

Markets were shut and public transport was off the roads, with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, they 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 was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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 31st March as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

However, restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the Valley on March 19 to contain the spread of the infection. The measures were taken after the detection of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 here.

The total number of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 546, even as seven patients have died and 164 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.

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