COVID: Govt eases restrictions further in 8 J&K districts

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday announced further ease in the COVID restrictions in eight districts in the Union Territory in view of significant decline in the number of fresh Coronavirus positive cases.

Meanwhile, markets and roads on Sunday wore a deserted look as restrictions on movement of people and traffic continued since Friday due to weekend COVID curfew imposed across Union Territory, where 866 fresh positive cases, including 601 in Kashmir and 265 in Jammu, on Saturday. As many as 14 patients – six from Kashmir and eight from Jammu – lost their lives due to the virus in the UT on Saturday.

An order issued by the J&K administration said that further relaxation in COVID restrictions have been granted in eight districts, including Poonch, Reasi, Ramban and Doda in Jammu division and Shopian, Kulgam, Ganderbal and Bandipora in Kashmir. “The relaxation was given following significant improvement witnessed in these districts in terms of decline in total weekly new cases, total positivity rate, bed occupancy, case fatality rate, and vaccination coverage of targeted population,” it said.

As per the order, barber shops, salons and parlors have been permitted to remain open all day in a week, except Saturdays and Sundays. “Standalone shops, outdoor bazaars and outdoor shopping complexes are also permitted to open on all days in a week, barring on Saturdays and Sundays,” it added.

For government and private offices, the order said they can function without any restrictions, subject to strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. “The wholesale trade of liquor shall continue to be permitted to operate on 5 days in a week, except Saturdays and Sundays across J&K,” it added.

The order further directed district magistrates to ensure full compliance to COVID-19 appropriate behavior and deal strictly with defaulters under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code.

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