Coronavirus: Curfew-like restrictions continues in Kashmir for fourth day


Restrictions continued for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday in Kashmir to limit the movement of people in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus which has infected more than two lakh people and killed thousands of people across the world.

A deserted view of Srinagar after Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Kashmir on Sunday as part of PM Modi’s appeal to observe ‘Janata curfew’, even as the virtual lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus in the valley entered its fourth day on March 22, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

The curbs were imposed after a 67-year-old woman from Khanyar area of Srinagar, who had returned on March 16 from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, tested positive for covid-19.

Reports said that shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments were shut in all parts of the valley, while public transport was also off from the roads.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed and roads have been blocked with barricades across the valley, said the reports.

They said that only the vehicles carrying people from essential service departments particularly health facilities were allowed.

At several places across the valley the police used vehicles fitted with public address systems to announce the restrictions and appealed the people to stay indoors.

The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole had Saturday appealed people across Kashmir to observe Janata Curfew on March 22 in letter and spirit, by remaining confined to their homes and make the program a great success.

While addressing a press conference, he had said that people should remain in their homes from 5 am to 9 pm except for medical emergencies and at 5 pm, appreciate those medical professionals, who are working round the clock to curb the spread the Coronavirus across the country, by clapping for them while sitting at home.

The main aim of Janta Curfew is to aware people regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the Div Com said.“There is no medicine for Coronavirus disease across the world but, we can break the infection-chain, if any, through social distancing,” he had said.

The Div Com had said that section 144 under CrPC has been imposed across the valley with the purpose to contain the spread of the deadly infection. Besides, restrictions have been imposed on public transport and railway services.

To ensure every traveller coming from outside UT, the Div Com said that screening desks have been established at Airport, Zigmorh Kulgam, Lower Munda Qazigund and PHC Dooru-Verinag and the suspected persons are being sent for quarantine for which a sufficient number of hotels and institutes have been earmarked.

He further said that scores of people hide foreign travel history and to investigate it, Divisional Administration of Kashmir approached Immigration Bureaus of all international airports to get each and every detail.

The Div Com said that as per the National Disaster Act, District Magistrate has full powers to arrest such people who are hiding their travel history.

He appealed such people not to hide foreign travel history and asked them to come forward, take appropriate measures in consultation with the healthcare experts.

The Div Com said, “Our preparedness on the ground is robust. Sufficient equipments, testing facilities, VTM, protection gears and adequate sample collection facilities are available at five places including GMC Srinagar, SKIMS and District Hospitals of Baramulla, Anantnag and Pulwama.”

Police personnel stand guard in Lal chowk area on Sunday, March 22, 2020, during Curfew-like restrictions on the movement and assembly of people were imposed in Kashmir from last four days. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar had said on Saturday that extra security forces will be deployed across the valley to ensure that strict restrictions are imposed.

“It may be Janata curfew by name, but the history of Kashmir is such that whatever the situation is, the restrictions cannot be imposed without the police or security forces enforcing them,” he told reporters at a press conference.


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