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Covid-19: 13 held for violating prohibitory orders in Bandipora

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Srinagar:  Thirteen people have been arrested in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district for violating prohibitory orders even as restrictions on the movement and assembly of people to contain the spread of coronavirus continued on the 12th consecutive day on Monday, officials said.

They said the curbs across the valley have been tightened to minimize the movement of people in order to contain the spread of the virus.

The tighter restrictions came in the wake of the death of the second COVID-19 patient early on Sunday. He was among the 13 who tested positive on Saturday, which was the highest in a single day.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the country-wide lockdown on Tuesday evening last week, the union territory administration here had imposed lockdown in parts of Kashmir on March 19, which was later extended to the entire UT on March 22 as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the valley on March 19 after a 67-year-old woman from Khanyar area of the city, who had returned on March 16 from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, tested positive for COVID-19.

The officials said on Sunday, Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba had asked all States and UTs to rigorously implement the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The cabinet secretary had asked states and UTs to take stern action against people who were violating lockdown orders.

Most of the roads in the valley have been sealed and barriers have been erected at several places by the security forces to check the unwanted movement of the people and to enforce the lockdown, officials said.

The administration has asked people to cooperate and warned of action for violating the prohibitory orders.

Police in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district arrested 13 persons for violating the prohibitory orders on Sunday, the officials said.

They said cases have been registered against them and investigations are on.

Police have appealed to the general public to follow the restrictions imposed by district magistrates in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and warned of strict action against those violating the restriction order.

The administration said essential services, including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions.

The district administrations have put in place a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supplies and deliveries of essential services to the general public. Essential commodities will be home-delivered to the residents as part of the mechanism.

Meanwhile, the markets across the valley were shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, officials said.

Educational institutions across Kashmir have been closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants have been shut down more than a week before the nationwide lock down announced by the Prime Minister.

The total number of positive cases in the valley has gone up to 29 and in the Union territory to 38.

Two patients both from the valley — have succumbed, while two one each Kashmir and Jammu — have recovered.

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