COVID-19 lockdown: Streets, markets remain deserted as restrictions continue in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Streets and markers remained deserted on Saturday as strict restrictions on movement and assembly of people continued for the 16th successive day to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in Kashmir valley, where seven infected patients have tested negative for the virus.
Eight more persons were during the last 24 hours tested positive for Coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people to 78 in J&K. But, the total number of COVID-19 patients, who have tested negative in the valley has risen to eight, including a woman who has been discharged from the hospital and is in home quarantine.
No Friday congregational prayers were held for the second successive week in the valley following authorities and various religious organizations, including Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board, asking people not the offer prayers in mosques.

Official sources told UNI that restrictions on movement and assembly of people continued across Kashmir valley for the 16th successive day. “Over 25 areas, which were declared as ‘Red Zones’, remained sealed in Kashmir valley,” they said, adding no one will be allowed in and out of these areas.
They said authorities have launched an aggressive contact tracing campaign to put all such persons under quarantine after taking their samples as per health protocol.

Shops and business establishments remained closed while streets were deserted as locals voluntarily remained indoors due to scare following upward spiral in Coronavirus cases in the valley, where police vehicles fitted with public address system were directing people since early this morning to remain indoors in view of imposition of restrictions under 144 CrPc, barring assembly of more than three people.

The administration has asked the people to cooperate with it and warned of action against those violating prohibitory orders. Police has so far sealed many shops, hotels and educational institutes and arrested about 275 persons from Srinagar, Sopore, Handwara, Ganderbal and Anantnag in the valley since Tuesday. Police is using drones in some areas in Srinagar to announce restrictions on the movement of people as part of the 21-day lockdown to combat coronavirus pandemic.
A senior police official said anyone who tries to move on the highway, specially towards Jawahir Tunnel, in private vehicle without genuine pass, his vehicle would be seized and passengers will be quarantined for 14 days at the nearest centre.
Meanwhile, all educations institutes, including schools, colleges and universities, remained closed in the valley, where train services and public transport were suspended.

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.
Similar reports of lockdown were received from other parts of the valley, including Kupwara and Baramulla in north, Budagm and Ganderbal in central and Anantnag, Pulwama Kulgam in south Kashmir.