Majid Kapra

Strict lockdown restrictions remain in force in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Strict restrictions were imposed in most parts of Kashmir on Thursday, a day after the union territory administration announced a complete lockdown across the Valley, except for Bandipora district, to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The six-day complete lockdown in the Valley came into effect on Wednesday evening following a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last three weeks.

However, the district administration has said that the lockdown will continue till 6 am on July 28.

No movement of people, except in medical emergencies and essential services, was being allowed across the Valley, the officials said.

Authorities have sealed most of the roads and market places in all Red districts, including Srinagar, and placed concertina wires and barriers on the roads to stop public movement, they said. Additional deployment of police and paramilitary personnel was also made to enforce lockdown.

Shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut and public transport was off the roads.

Barricades were also placed near historic clock tower at city’s commercial hub, Lal Chowk to thwart public movement. Heavy traffic jams were, however, witnessed at few areas of uptown city including Rambagh, Barzulla and Hyderpora localities.

In old city, roads were sealed with razor wires with all shops and business establishments shut and transport off the roads. Police cautioned people against violating government orders and asked them to stay indoors. “Please stay indoors for your own safety and that of your family,” messages were being relayed through public address system fitted in police vehicles.

However, as the day progressed, some roadside vendors including those selling fruit and vegetables were seen in some areas besides some public movement as well. Some young people were also seen playing cricket in Eidgah grounds of Srinagar.

Pertinently, agriculture, horticulture and construction activities have been allowed in accordance with disaster management guidelines. The movement of goods carriers, LPG and oil tankers also continued unhindered.

Reports reaching here from other parts of the valley suggested that a total lockdown was witnessed in these districts and people stayed indoors in compliance with government orders.

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