Srinagar, July 22: As the COVID-19 cases and deaths surge in Kashmir Valley since the lockdown was eased, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday announced strict lockdown till July 27.
“From today onwards till July 27, strict lockdown will remain in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 pandemic in valley,” Director of Information and Public Relations said in tweet on Wednesday morning. “Further decision about continuation or announcing relaxation will be taken depending upon the situation.”
It needs to be mentioned that since Unlock-2, COVID positive cases have shown a huge spurt and so far over 15,000 people have tested positive and 260 people have died due to this pandemic.
Several doctors and civil society members had urged the government to re-impose the lockdown to prevent the mass spread of the Coronavirus (Wuhan Virus). Leading medicos and doctors have already stated that the deadly virus was already in the community and it was time to take precautions that include wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing.
There have been reports that shops and other business establishments across valley remained closed on Tuesday while the public transport was off the roads. Barricades have been put up and vehicular movement, except for essential services, was restricted in Srinagar. Restrictions on public movement and activities were imposed in 88 areas notified as COVID-19 red zones in Srinagar after a sharp spike in positive cases in the last couple of weeks.
In old Srinagar and other parts of the city, barbed wires were laid to stop the movement of traffic. The red and contaminated zones also remained sealed.
The authorities have enhanced a fine up to ₹1,000 for not wearing masks, whereas the violation of social distancing guidelines in red zones will incur a fine of ₹10,000.
Restrictions also remained imposed in Pulwama, Anantnag, Ganderbal, Baramulla and Kupwara, officials said.
The Union Territory administration had first announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir on March 22 as part of its efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Restrictions were imposed in many parts of the Kashmir Valley, including in the city, on March 19 after the union territory saw its first positive case from Srinagar.
The lockdown was then gradually eased in June and the markets in the city re-opened after about three months in the second week of June.