March 2020 News
Restrictions Tightened As Kashmir Records Second COVID-19 Death29 March 2020
Srinagar: Restrictions on the movement and assembly of people in Kashmir to contain the spread of the coronavirus were intensified on Sunday as the union territory recorded its second COVID-19 death, a day after 13 fresh cases were confirmed, officials said. The restrictions on the movement and assembly of people in Kashmir continued for the 11th consecutive day on Sunday, they said. The officials said the curbs across the Valley have been tightened to minimise the movement of the people in order to contain the spread of the virus. The tighter restrictions came in the wake of the death of second COVID-19 patient early Sunday. He was among the 13 people who tested positive for the virus on Saturday, which was the highest in a single day. Most of the roads in the valley have been sealed off and barriers have been erected at several places by the security forces to check the unwanted movement of the people and to enforce the lockdown for containing the spread of the coronavirus, the officials said. The administration has asked the people to cooperate with it and warned of action for violating the prohibitory orders. The authorities at several places have sought help from 'Imams' (clerics) to appeal to the people to stay indoors. The clerics had asked the people to offer prayers at home and avoid the mosques. While the Prime Minister announced the country-wide lockdown on Tuesday evening, the union territory administration here had on Sunday announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till 31 March as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The administration said people involved in essential services including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions. The district administrations have put in place a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supplies and deliveries of essentials to the general public. Essential commodities will be home-delivered to the residents as part of the mechanism. Markets across the valley were shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, the officials said. Educational institutions across Kashmir have been closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants have been shut down more than a week before the nationwide lock down announced by the Prime Minister. Restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the valley on March 19 to contain the spread of the virus. The measures were taken after a 67-year-old woman from the Khanyar area of the city, who had returned on March 16 from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of positive cases in the valley has gone up to 24 and in the Union territory to 33. Two patients have recovered from the disease, while two others have succumbed.