Shut markets, deserted roads mark first day of lockdown
SRINAGAR: Stringent restrictions remained in force in 11 out of 20 districts of Kashmir valley on Friday as part of 84 hour ‘corona curfew’ imposed last evening following sharp spike in COVID-19 cases and related deaths.
Jammu and Kashmir administration with an aim to break the curve of rising COVID-19 cases and mortalities, announced complete lockdown in 11 out of 20 districts of the Union Territory, from Thursday 8 pm till Monday 6 am.
The move comes after the Union Territory showed no reduction in COVID-19 cases and related deaths in the month of April that witnessed 700 percent jump in positive cases.
Pertinent to mention that administration imposed 34-hour lockdown last week to slowdown the spread of deadly Corona-Virus.
Besides extending the night curfew on April 20, the administration had ordered the closure of 50 percent shops on alternate basis in municipal and urban areas and capped the passenger capacity in public transport to 50 percent.
Congregational Friday prayers were not held in most of the shrines and mosques in Kashmir including Dargah Hazratbal and central Jama Masjid Srinagar in view of the 84-hour curfew. However, in most of the local mosques, Friday prayers were offered as per laid down SOPs.
Regular congregational prayers were also temporarily suspended at the central Jama Masjid Srinagar besides several Masjids in different localities in the wake of the growing COVID-19 cases.
Shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut and public transport was off the roads; however a skeletal movement of motorists was witnessed on deserted roads dotted with police and paramilitary forces.
Authorities besides deploying additional companies of police and paramilitary CRPF, placed barricades near historic clock tower at city’s commercial hub, Lal Chowk to thwart peoples’ movement.
In old city, roads were sealed with razor wires with all shops and business establishments shut and transport off the roads. Poses of police and paramilitary forces were also deployed on roads to curtail people’s movement.
Only those associated with medical emergency service, essential services and media were allowed to move on roads that too after verification and cross verification of their ID cards.
Notably, people too preferred to stay at their homes in compliance to the government orders.
Reports reaching ‘Kashmir Images’ suggested that 84-hour curfew was imposed’ in other districts of the valley including north and south Kashmir with marketplaces and other commercial establishments closed and traffic off the roads.