Reimposing Lockdown: ‘Decision in Next 24 Hours’

KO Photo: Abid Bhat

‘If people don’t follow guidelines, extended lockdown likely’

Srinagar: Amid spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Srinagar, a high-level meeting was chaired by the district administration on Saturday wherein the surge in the Coronavirus cases was discussed.

The meeting was attended by the administrative, police officials and other stakeholders.

Media reports said that earlier a high-level meeting was chaired by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

Sources said that the meeting was informed that the contacts of positive cases, which are being tested positive, have also gone up. “During the period of lockdown, one or two contacts of any positive case were coming positive. But, after the relaxation in the lockdown, at least 15-20 contacts of an infected person test positive,” officials informed the meeting.

They further said that the cases are witnessing a surge in the Srinagar district because of being the busiest place with people from other districts also visiting the city with majority of them not following the advisories.

Srinagar's high number of cases also include a large numbers from other districts referred to tertiary care hospitals for advance treatment. Most of them test positive here during mandatory testing before medical procedures, the meeting was informed.

Urging people to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in letter and spirit to help in reduce the number of positive cases, a senior official said, the people have two options. Either to follow the health guidelines or to risk another lockdown, which will be for a longer period,”

Sources said, government was considering another lockdown. A final decision will be taken by Monday,” a senior official said.

District Development Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Choudhary in a live interaction with a journalists also confirmed that the government will hold a review meeting tonight (Saturday).

“A decision will be taken within 24 hours whether to reimpose lockdown. People have to decide whether they want lockdown or they wear masks, maintain social distancing and personal hygiene,” he said.

He however said every stakeholder is being taken on board before taking a decision.

“We took all stakeholders on board when we eased out restrictions. But situation is very alarming now. One positive case is infecting 30 people. This means people are not taking precautionary measures,” he said. “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 is forcing us to enforce lockdown,” he said.

Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole said on Saturday that different sections of the society were seeking re-imposition of lockdown in the Kashmir Valley following new surge in cases.
Pole said that demand was coming from different sections of the society, including doctors, paramedics and some traders asking for re-imposition of lockdown . “The final call will be taken by the competent authority soon. So far, the government has not taken any decision over the issue,” he said.

Earlier, in the day, Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation chief Muhammad Yasin Khan had stated that if government decides to re-impose lockdown, the traders will support it fully.

Yesterday, health experts had stated that the situation had changed on COVID front as more people were falling prey to it and positive cases were showing a surge.  Doctors Association (DAK) President Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan had urged the government to re-impose lockdown for two more weeks in a bid to contain the virus.


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