Srinagar, The Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered a complete lockdown for 84 hours from Thursday evening in seven districts of the valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, in view of unabated rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The COVID-19 cases have risen unabated in Kashmir valley, particularly the summer capital, Srinagar, which has recorded the major chunk of positive cases during the last about a fortnight. Srinagar alone, out of 3023 new COVID-19 cases, reported 951 cases on Wednesday while Baramulla recorded 246 cases followed by Budgam with 199 cases.
There will be complete lockdown in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal in central, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama in south and Baramulla in north Kashmir from 1900 hrs on Thursday to 0700 hrs on Monday,” an official said.
However, essential services have been exempted from the lockdown.
He said in the remaining three Kashmir districts — including Kupwara, Bandipora in north and Shopian — restrictions on assembly of more than five people under section 144 CrPc will remain imposed.
He said lockdown was also imposed in four districts of Jammu division, including Jammu, Kathua, Reasi and Udhampur.
The imposition of lockdown from Thursday evening to Monday morning in the seven Kashmir districts was also announced by the respective Deputy Commissioners on their personal and official twitter handles.
Reacting to the development, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Rayees Mohammad Bhat asked people not to panic and cooperate to curtail the spread of the virus. “Complete lockdown from 7pm tomorrow to 7am on Monday. Please cooperate with us. No need to panic and rush. We shall be strict but polite,” Bhat wrote on twitter.
As many as 3023 new positive cases of novel Corona virus, including 989 from Jammu division and 2034 from Kashmir division, were reported on Tuesday. Thirty people, including 18 from Kashmir and 12 from Jammu, lost their lives to the virus on Wednesday.
All the five congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar have been suspended till further orders.
The administration on Wednesday asserted that surplus supply of oxygen was available in the Union Territory as of now. “The present consumption of oxygen in the UT of J&K is approximately 25000 Cubic metres daily as of Wednesday,” an official said.
He said the present generation capacity of oxygen in the UT is 54,500 cubic metres — including 24,500 cubic metres in hospitals and 30,000 cubic metres in industries – daily. “The UT of J&K has ample supply of oxygen,” he said, adding the UT of J&K also has substantial number of filled Oxygen cylinders.
Meanwhile, all educational institutes — including schools, colleges and universities — wore a deserted look on Wednesday as the teaching and non-teaching staff have been allowed to stay home in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir.
Teachers, however, were conducting online classes from home in the valley though many students alleged that they were unable to attend these classes due to non-availability of smart phones.