Srinagar, May 2: Despite the Union Health Ministry classifying only four districts as red zones in Kashmir, the authorities on Saturday said that the entire valley will be treated as Red Zone, following which there will be no relaxation in restrictions.
The decision comes in the wake of the Centre extending lockdown by two weeks, but allowing more activities to take place in green zone districts.
Kashmir Divisional Commissioner P K Pole told UNI that all 10 districts of the Valley will be treated as red zone till further orders, ‘As we can’t afford to lower our guard at this time’.
‘Such measures are also important because all the districts have Red Zones and the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing. We also need to be watchful due to the return of Kashmiris stranded outside the valley.
He further said there is very little difference between a red zone and an orange zone, given the type of restrictions to be imposed in these areas.
‘Kashmir valley has only one district (Pulwama), which falls in green zone, but that too, has witnessed new COVID-19 cases,’ he added.
Pulwama has currently four active positive cases.
However, reacting to the development, former J&K chief minister and NC Vice President Omar Abdullah said, ‘Exactly why the Central government shouldn’t bother to issue long convoluted orders. They are not binding on local administrations.’
The Centre on Friday extended the Novel Coronavirus lockdown by two more weeks. The lockdown was to end on May 3, but the third edition of nationwide lockdown will be different from the previous ones in character as more activities would be allowed in the new lockdown guidelines.
Four Kashmir districts – Srinagar, Bandipora, Anantnag and Shopian – have been classified as red zone, while only one Pulwama has been listed in green zone. Meanwhile, the remaining five districts – Baramulla, Kupwara, Budgam, Gandrbal and Kulgam – have been put in orange zone.