Restrictions continue in Kashmir; SOPs issued for easing lockdown, ahead of Eid

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Srinagar: Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the road for the fourth successive day in this summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of Kashmir Valley on Sunday, in view of the five-day lockdown imposed by the authorities till July 27, to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Pandurang K Pole on Saturday said that in view of Eid-ul-Adha, which will be celebrated on August 1, business and other activities will be resumed for three days from July 28 to 30, to facilitate hassle-free purchase of sacrificial animals and other necessary items by the people.
Pole, while chairing a meeting, instructed the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to open up markets in a phased manner with different timings, to avoid large gatherings and violation of social distancing protocol by the public thronging market places during these three days.
‘Custodians of Masjids, shrines and khankahas shall be allowed to carry out cleaning of religious structures during these three days as a religious formality, but no gathering shall be allowed at these places,” he added.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had announced a complete lockdown in areas, which have been categorised as red zones in Kashmir, barring Bandipora, from Wednesday evening to July 27, due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Of the total 305 deaths since March this year, 270 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in 51 days, and 290 people in 65 day in J&K, where 523 new positive cases were detected on Saturday, taking the total number of infected persons to 17,305.
Official sources said that strict restrictions continued on Sunday on the movement of people, vehicles and all activities in the Kashmir valley, particularly Srinagar, which is the worst hit area in terms of deaths and new COVID cases.
However, they said essential service and medical emergencies have been kept out of the ambit of restrictions and will be allowed free movement after proper verification.