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Big religious gatherings not allowed in Kashmir: Div Com

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Kupwara: Saying that the administration is prepared to face the possible third wave of COVID-19, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Tuesday said that no big religious gatherings will be allowed across the Valley, and urged the people to follow precautionary measures keep the infections at bay.

Pole said that emotions are involved in every religious gathering and after the 2nd wave of COVID-19, the government has decided not to allow any big religious gatherings to take place — be it the Amarnath Yatra, or the Eid prayers.

He said that large-scale congressional prayers won’t be allowed and people must pray in their homes or localities in a decentralized manner to avoid spread of infections.

Pertinently, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wakf Board, Mufti Muhammad Farid-ud-din also said that the Eid prayers would not be offered at the Shrines and Masjids falling under the Waqf Board as most of these religious places have been closed.

He said that people must offer Eid prayers at local Masjids in their respective localities.

The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole said this during visit to the border district Kupwara where he reviewed the Covid-19 and vaccination situation. He also visited Handwara.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of his visit, Pole said that the authorities are prepared for the possible third wave of COVID-19 but a lot depends on the people.

He said that oxygen plants are being installed at the district and sub-district hospitals across the Kashmir Valley.

“Initially only 20 hospitals had oxygen plants available but today 45 hospitals have the facility and by 15th of August, some 20-25 more hospitals will be added,” Pole said.

He said that every Panchayat has a Covid-19 care center where people are being trained.

“Our preparations are underway but what matters is the public response as to how they manage to keep it (COVID-19) under control,” Pole said.

Citing an example about the importance and effectiveness of vaccines, Pole said that ahead of the 2nd wave, 95 percent of the policemen were vaccinated against the virus and only 10 percent of them tested positive compared to the positivity graph of 1st wave, while only two have died due to the virus so far.

“We can face 3rd wave by following Covid-appropriate behavior.  Like clothing, this virus has given us mask, and has universalized it making it part of our habit,” he said.

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