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Covid-19: 6-day lockdown announced in Kashmir

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Markets to open for 3-days from July 28 in phased manner: Div Com

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has imposed a six-day complete lockdown (till July 28 morning) across Kashmir Valley following a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last three weeks, officials said on Wednesday.

The decision comes into effect on Wednesday evening and will be reviewed after six days, they said as the Valley recorded 502 fresh cases.

Agriculture, horticulture and construction activities will continue in accordance with disaster management guidelines. The movement of goods carriers, LPG and oil tankers will also continue unhindered, they said.

“Complete lockdown in all Red districts (excluding Bandipora) of Kmr (Kashmir)  Div (Division) from today evening till 6 am on 27-7-2020,” the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s Department of Information and Public Relations said on Twitter.

However, later in the evening, District Magistrate Bandipora, Dr Owais Ahmed ordered closure of all markets in Bandipora district for 72 hours with effect from Thursday morning.

The order has been issued as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The District Magistrate said there shall be complete restrictions on movement of public transport including busses, mini busses, sumos and auto-rikshaws.

Meanwhile, in view of the ensuing Eid-ul-Adha festival, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole today said that the markets shall remain open for three days from July 28 to July 30 to facilitate hassle-free purchase of sacrificial animals and other necessary items.

This Div Com said this while chairing a meeting to review Eid arrangements. He also directed all DCs of Kashmir to establish sale centers where people can purchase the sacrificial animals with proper COVID-19 protocol, an official press release said.

He instructed DCs to open up markets in a phased manner with different timings to avoid gatherings and violation of social distancing protocol by the public thronging market places during these three days.

In order to avoid unnecessary rush, DCs were asked to notify about operation and timing of ‘mandis’ and markets places in advance for timely information to the general public.

He said that custodians of Masjids, Shrines and Khankahas shall be allowed to carry out cleaning of religious structures during these three days as a religious formality, but no gathering shall be allowed at these places.

Stressing on rate regulation of essential commodities and other items, the Div Com instructed concerned to constitute multi-departmental squads to conduct extensive market checking to prevent traders, dealers and shopkeepers resorting to hoarding, overcharging, black-marketing or sale of sub-standard items.

The concerned were directed to ensure availability of sacrificial animals, birds and all essential commodities across all markets.

Urging people to take all precaution while distributing sacrificial meat, the Div Com called for strict adherence to Covid SOPs and prevention of social or religious gatherings on Eid as mandatory to contain the spread of disease in their respective districts.

The Div Com emphasized on PDD and PHE to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity and drinking water supply across all districts during the festival days.

The DCs were asked to rope in religious leaders for COVID-19 SOPs, IEC activities to sensitize people about the importance of following laid down guidelines and precautions to control the disease effectively.

Police authorities were instructed to ensure proper security arrangements and prevent the public from resorting to any sort of violation during the festival days.

Stressing on cleanliness and sanitation, Commissioner SMC Srinagar was directed to ensure regular lifting of garbage and waste material and maintenance of proper sanitation around religious and market places.

Among others, the meeting was attended by DC Srinagar, RTO Kashmir, Chief Engineers, PHE, R&B, Directors of Health Services, FCS&CA, Sheep Husbandry, SSP, Traffic, SP Headquarter Srinagar, CEO, Waqf Board and other dignitaries.

IGP Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of all districts of Kashmir also attended the meeting through video conferencing.

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