Farhat Naik

Ignoring SOPs, people throng tourist destinations, markets in north Kashmir

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Baramulla: Ignoring the safety directives and Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs), people throng tourist destinations and markets in several north Kashmir areas despite spike in Coronavirus cases.

According to witnesses, Drung Tangmarg, a little known tourist destination is witnessing huge crowds from past several days causing concern among the locals who allege that the authorities were allowing the crowds without ensuring adherence to the SOP’s.

“You can see several people thronging this tourist spot and most of them aren’t even wearing the masks, not to talk of social distancing. This can cause spread of COVID 19 in our area which is, till date, free from the virus,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local of Drung Tangmarg.

Reports reaching here from other areas of north Kashmir including Baramulla main town and some adjacent markets also said that people have been thronging the markets without following the health guidelines.  “The pandemic, it seems, isn’t bothering people anymore as crowds could be seen thronging various markets here. People are hardly wearing masks and the idea of social distancing is disappearing from the ground. What is more threatening is the fact that the local administration isn’t visible on the ground to check the utter violation of the SOP’s,” Bilal Ahmad, a social activist from Baramulla said.

Ahmad further added that such negligence could prove disastrous for the already deteriorating health scenario caused by COVID-19.

Another report pouring in from Handwara suggests a similar situation there with people, including young and old, gathering outside shops in crowds. Huge rush of customers can be seen in markets in complete violation of SOP’s, the report added.

When contacted, SDM Tangmarg, Shabir Ahmad, said that no such report had been brought into his notice ensuring that action will be taken against those found violating the preventive measures.“I have no information regarding crowds gathering at Drung, Tangmarg and once the matter is brought into my notice action will follow,” he added.

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