COVID-19: Restrictions further intensified in Kashmir in view of Friday prayers

Srinagar: Restrictions on movement and assembly of people were further tightened in view of Friday congregational prayers in Kashmir valley, where  streets and markers remained deserted for the 15th successive day due lock down to curtail spread of Coronavirus.The congregational prayers were not held last Friday in the valley following authorities and various religious organizations, including Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board, asking people not the offer prayers in mosques.Eight more persons, including five from Jammu and three from Kashmir, were on Thursday tested positive for Coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people to 70 in J&K.Meanwhile, amid rise in the number of Coronavirus cases in the Union territory of J&K, the first person to be tested positive for the infection in the valley was discharged from hospital after fully recovering while another has tested negative giving hope to the people.Official sources told UNI that restrictions on movement and assembly of people have been intensified in view of Friday congregational across Kashmir valley. “Strict restrictions remained imposed in 20 villages including Parray Mohala Hajin, Chandergeer Hajin, Batagund Hajin in Bandipora dist, Gudoora, Chandgam, Pinglena, Parigam, Abhama,Sangerwani and Khaigam in Pulwama, Waskura in Ganderbal, Sedew and Ramnagri in Shopian which were declared as Red Zones,” they said.They said all exit points of Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Lal Bazar, Eidgah and Shalteng in Srinagar and Chadoora in Budgam district have been sealed as these areas were also declared as Red Zones. “No one will be allowed in and out of these areas,” they added.They said authorities have launched an aggressive contact tracing campaign to put all such persons under quarantine after taking their samples as per health protocol.Shops and business establishments remained closed while streets were deserted as locals voluntarily remained indoors due to scare following upward spiral in Coronavirus cases in the valley. Police vehicles fitted with public address system were directing people since early this morning to remain indoors in view of imposition of restrictions under 144 CrPc, barring assembly of more than three people.The administration has asked the people to cooperate with it and warned of action against those violating prohibitory orders. Police has so far sealed many shops, hotels and educational institutes and arrested about 250 persons from Srinagar, Sopore, Handwara, Ganderbal and Anantnag in the valley since Tuesday. Over 110 vehicles have also been seized by police since Tuesday. Police is using drones in some areas in Srinagar to announce restrictions on the movement of people as part of the 21-day lockdown to combat coronavirus pandemic.A senior police official said anyone who tries to move on the highway, specially towards Jawahir Tunnel, in private vehicle without genuine pass, his vehicle would be seized and passengers will be quarantined for 14 days at the nearest centre.Meanwhile, all educations institutes, including schools, colleges and universities, remained closed in the valley, where train services and public transport were suspended.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.
The main roads in downtown and SeK remained closed with barbed wires at Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara and Khanyar. Similar road blocks remained erected by security forces at Nowhatta, Rangar stop and Gojwara.imilar 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.

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