Srinagar, May 2: Strict restrictions remained imposed on Sunday as part of 84-hour-long ‘COVID curfew’ that is scheduled to end on Monday morning in Kashmir valley, where fresh Coronavirus cases and death continued to rise unabated.
Meanwhile, the lockdown has been extended till May 6 in three districts – Srinagar, Baramulla and Budgam — in Kashmir, where 1065 people were fined and 158 arrested for violating COVID curfew and other guidelines since Thursday evening. The decision to extend the lockdown in these areas was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday.
The extension in the lockdown in these districts has come in the backdrop of unabated rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Kashmir, particularly the summer capital, Srinagar, which has recorded the major chunk of positive cases during the last about a fortnight. Srinagar alone, out of 3832 new COVID-19 cases in J&K, reported 1058 cases on Saturday, while Baramulla recorded 303 cases followed by Jammu with 504 cases and Budgam with 282 cases.
Meanwhile, the vaccination drive for the people falling between the age of 18 and 45 years was on Saturday evening started in Srinagar and Jammu for which 1.5 lakh doses were procured by the J&K administration.
The UT administration had imposed corona lockdown from 1900 hrs from Thursday and till 0700 hrs on Monday in Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Badgam, Kulgam, Pulwama and Ganderbal in Kashmir valley. The lockdown was later extended to the remaining three Kashmir districts — including Kupwara, Bandipora in north and Shopian in south — from Friday evening till Monday morning. However, essential services were exempted from the lockdown.
Streets continued to wear a deserted look as shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the road in the summer capital, Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley, where security forces have closed majority of the roads with barbed wires and barricades to stop the movement of people.
However, shops selling vegetables, milk and fruits were open as they have been exempted from the lockdown. The administration has allowed grocery shops, milk and dairy product shops, fruit and vegetable mandi, bakery and meat shops to function between 1000 hrs and 1800 hrs even during the lockdown. Chemist shops, LPG/petrol pumps, ATM, media, FCI, e-Commerce, construction activities, COVID-19 vaccination, inter-state movement are also allowed during the lockdown.
All the roads and market places, including Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, remained sealed with authorities seeking cooperation from the public to curtail the spread of COVID-19 by strictly adhering to the lockdown. Shops and businesses established were closed while all the roads were deserted as traffic and people were off the roads in downtown, civil lines, uptown in Srinagar. But, people with emergency or associated with essential services, including doctors and paramedics, were allowed to move on the roads.