United News of India
Srinagar, Apr 18: Restrictions on movement and assembly of people to curtail the spread of Coronavirus entered second month on Saturday in Kashmir valley, where authorities have started to issue e-curfew passes to facilitate patients and essential service employees.
Around 30,000 quintals of food grains will be distributed among 1.4 lakh Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in Srinagar in view of lockdown while the number of ‘Red Zones’ has swelled to 80 in the valley, where Rapid Anti-Body testing will be soon introduced to get instant results in containment areas.
Officials told UNI that restrictions remained imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Kashmir valley, where the lockdown has been extended till May 3. “Main roads in most places in the valley remained sealed while barriers were erected at other places to check unwanted movement of people,” they said, adding all roads leading to areas, which were declared as ‘Red Zones’ after several COVID-19 positive cases surfaced from there, also remained sealed.
They said strict action will be taken against people found violating lockdown, adding only persons with valid passes were allowed to move.
The number of Coronavirus cases has swelled to 328 in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as 14 persons, all from Kashmir, tested positive for the infection on Friday.
Officials said 80 Red Zones were identified in Kashmir Division and that such areas will remain red zones up to 42 days, unless no new positive case of COVID-19 is detected. “If any new case is detected in these areas, then from that date, the area will again remain a red zone for another 42 days,” they added.
Shops and business establishments remained closed while streets were deserted due to strict restrictions imposed by authorities to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the valley, where 568 FIRs have been lodged, 64 shops were sealed and 447 vehicles were seized for defying the orders.
The streets in uptown and civil lines were deserted as shops and business establishment were closed and traffic was off the roads. Security forces were deployed in these areas, where people alleged that security personnel were not allowing them to move out of their houses. Similar situation was witnessed in downtown, where people also alleged that they were not allowed to move out of their houses even to buy groceries and vegetables.
The main roads in downtown and SeK remained closed with barbed wires at Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara and Khanyar. Similar road blocks remained erected by security forces at Nowhatta, Rangar stop and Gojwara.
All educations institutes, including schools, colleges and universities, remained closed in the valley, where train services and public transport were suspended.
Similar reports of lockdown were received from other parts of the valley, including Kupwara and Baramulla in north, Budgam and Ganderbal in central and Anantnag, Pulwama Kulgam in south Kashmir.