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Srinagar Mayor writes to LG, requests shutting down tourist sites to prevent COVID spread

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Srinagar: The Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu on Friday wrote a letter to LG Manoj Sinha requesting several measures including shutting tourist destinations to contain the spread of COVID- 19 which has witnessed a spike in the past few weeks.

“While the administration is taking every required step and is monitoring the evolving situation closely, I wanted to request for the following measures to be implemented in Srinagar City limits to help contain COVID optimally and effectively,” Mattu said in his letter.

The Srinagar Mayor called for shutting down all tourist gardens, monuments and tourist sites besides making a negative RT-PCR test report mandatory for anyone entering Srinagar by air or through the road routes.

Mattu also called for shutting down OPDs at government and private hospitals to reduce the strain on the healthcare infrastructure.

He also called for better isolation of frontline health workers and allowing them a better and safer atmosphere in their valiant fight against COVID. “All emergent cases can be treated at Emergency Wings and designated COVID centers at the hospitals,” he said.

Mattu also called for disallowing all congregational prayers and religious gatherings at places of worship in Srinagar and seeking community consensus and involvement in mounting this challenge together.

“A 50 percent attendance roster on [a] rotational basis at all essential services, Government and Public Offices. A 33 percent attendance roster on [a] rotational basis at all non-essential-services Government and Public Offices,” he said in the letter.

“A 33 percent rotational regulation for vendor-markets and flea-markets in Srinagar – regulating crowds that throng these markets. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) had initiated a regulation of these markets during the first wave of COVID and I’m of the firm opinion the same needs to be replicated now without any delay,” he wrote.

“Constitution of a multi-agency field task-force to enforce COVID guidelines (Mask-usage, physical-distancing and restrictions in outdoor and indoor gatherings) as issued by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) with a strong law-enforcement liaison. Deployment of Reserve Battalions of Jammu and Kashmir Police to enforce adherence to COVID guidelines should be considered for this initiative,” he suggested.

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