Lockdown: Kashmir to have separate relaxation schedule

Amid lockdown, a motorcyclist rides past a barricade in Pulwama town
Amid lockdown, a motorcyclist rides past a barricade in Pulwama town (Photo Credit: Reshi Irshad)

SRINAGAR — Given the number of red zones in Kashmir, authorities have decided not to implement the relaxations in the lockdown as detailed in the MHA order.

P.K. Pole, Kashmir divisional commissioner, said since there in a large number of red zones in the Valley and as such there will be separate directions from the health department those will be issued shortly with regard to relaxations in the lockdown.

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MHA issued a directive on Friday allowing the opening of standalone shops and shops located in residential complexes of urban areas and shops selling non-essential goods in addition to those selling essentials of life in the rural areas.

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There are 76 red zones in Kashmir with hardly any single district among the 10 districts in the Valley remaining unaffected by COVID-19.

Authorities have recently declared Pulwama as a COVID-19 free district, but given the very low number of tests conducted in Pulwama district, it is still a fingers-crossed situation even in this district.

Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary, Srinagar DM has clearly expressed dissatisfaction with the opening of shops in Srinagar district where only yesterday five more tested positive for the virus. There are 15 red zones in this district.

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In the neighbouring Ganderbal district also police and CRPF were seen enforcing the lockdown on Sunday as it was before the MHA directive.

On Saturday, however, people were seen engaged in brisk shopping in Baramulla town. Although reports from there also suggest the lockdown is being enforced strictly and no shop selling non-essential goods, even if the shop is categorised as standalone, is being allowed to function.

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