Inside Kashmir

Restriction tightened in Kashmir ahead of Ramazan

Srinagar, Apr 24 (UNI) Restrictions on movement and assembly of people to curtail the spread of Coronavirus were on Friday further intensified ahead of the commencement of the holy month of Ramazan from Saturday in Kashmir, where authorities have taken serious note of lockdown violators.

As many as 71 patients were tested positive for the infection in the first four days of this week in the valley, where no Friday prayers were offered for the fifth successive week today. The total number of infected people has swelled to 434 in the Union Territory of J&K, where five people have died while 92 have recovered so far.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu has directed divisional administration to reach out to masses, identify vulnerable age groups, besides augmenting robust healthcare facility on priority.

Mr Murmu reiterated the importance of maintaining a close watch on all inimical elements. He also appreciated the role of J&K Police and other security forces in conducting successful anti-militancy operations amid COVID-19 pandemic and also at the same time working tirelessly to contain its spread in the valley.

Officials told UNI that restrictions continued for the 36th successive day to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Kashmir valley. ‘Main roads in most places in the valley remained sealed while barriers were erected at other places to check unwanted movement of people,’ they said, adding all roads leading to areas, which were declared as ‘Red Zones’ after several COVID-19 positive cases surfaced from there, also remained sealed.

They said several dozen people have been arrested while about 100 vehicles have been sealed for violating the lockdown order during the last 36 hours in the valley, where shops and business establishments remained closed while streets were deserted due to strict restrictions imposed by authorities to curtail the spread of the pandemic.

The streets in uptown and civil lines were deserted as shops and business establishment were closed and traffic was off the roads. Security forces were deployed in these areas, where people alleged that security personnel were not allowing them to move out of their houses. Similar situation was witnessed in downtown, where people also alleged that they were not allowed to move out of their houses even to buy groceries and vegetables.

Similar reports of lockdown were received from other parts of the valley, including Kupwara and Baramulla in north, Budagm and Ganderbal in central and Anantnag, Pulwama Kulgam in south Kashmir.

Bandipora is the worst COVID-19 hit district in the Union Territory of J&K with 99 positive cases and one death. Of these, over 36 per cent of positive cases have been reported from Dangerpora in Bandipora, prompting authorities to put about 150 people in hospital and administrative quarantine. The rest of the people from Dangerpora have been put in home quarantine.

J&K recorded first death due to COVID-19 on March 25, when a 65-year-old man from Hyderpora died due to the infection at Chest Disease Hospital. Then, on March 29, a 50-year-old man, a resident of Tangmarg, passed away at CD hospital.

Earlier this month, a 54-year-old Bandipora resident, who was tested positive for the infection, died at SMHS hospital. Later on April 8, a 61-year-old woman from Udhampur died at Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu. A 70-year-old patient died on April 17 due to Coronavirus in Kashmir valley.

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