Eidgah, Lal Bazar in Srinagar sealed; Shab-e-Barat congregations banned, two Bandipora villages declared red zones
STATE TIMES NEWSSRINAGAR: A 54-year-old man died of coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, taking the death toll to three, officials said. The number of cases in the Union Territory now stands at 125 and 15 of them were reported today. The deceased, a resident of Bandipora district, was undergoing treatment at a hospital here when he tested positive for the infection, they said. All the three deaths have taken place in Kashmir Valley. A 65-year-old man from Srinagar was the first fatality in Kashmir on March 26 followed by another man of same age from Tangmarg in Baramulla district who died on March 29.
Of the 15 new cases reported, nine are from Kashmir division and six from Jammu division, they said. Four people have been cured and discharged so far. More than 32,000 people have been put under surveillance. Aggressive contact tracing of the new cases has been started while some new areas have been declared red zones in Srinagar. All entries and exits leading into and out of Eidgah and Lal Bazaar areas of Srinagar have been sealed following their declaration as containment zones after several cases of COVID-19 affected persons were reported there from. District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who issued an order in this regard said the sealing of the areas is aimed at preventing spread of the coronavirus infection out of these areas having reported several positive cases. He said it is also aimed at enabling smooth conduct of the survey in the areas being declared containment zones as ordered by the government. It is notable that the proposed survey is aimed at determining whether the infection has spread in the area and whether there is a need for isolating any of their residents. Dr Shahid said a plan has been formulated for ensuring smooth supplies of essential commodities and services in all areas which have been sealed or might be in future. He said the same will be done under supervision to ensure strict adherence to the sealing order adding that medical teams will also move in these areas under strict supervision. Meanwhile soon after the order was issued the district police made announcements about it and instructions given thereunder in the areas in order to make the residents aware about it to ensure strict adherence. It is notable that three areas declared as containment zones in Srinagar have been sealed so far. These include Chattabal which was sealed on Monday. Meanwhile, in view of the prevailing health situation because of COVID-19 outbreak the District Magistrate has issued an order prohibiting all sorts of religious congregations and public movement on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat in Srinagar. The order issued under Section 144 of CrPC states that the decision to prohibit religious gatherings during the occasion has been taken based on recommendations of concerned authorities and reports from the field besides taking into account the current precarious health situation due to COVID-19 pandemic. It states that these restrictions will remain enforced through the intervening night of April 8 and 9 adding that violations will attract strict action under Section 188 of the IPC and Section 51 of the disaster management act. The DM said that prohibitions on religious and other gatherings has become indispensable in view of the threat from coronavirus infection adding that these among other measures put in place in the district are aimed at containing its spread. It is notable that restrictions on gatherings and public movement are enforced in the district since March 20 – put in place as part of measures to contain spread of COVID-19 after the first positive case was reported from the district. Two more villages in Bandipora district were declared as red zones and their surrounding villages as buffer zones to prevent the spread of corona virus after two persons from these villages were declared COVID-19 positive in past two days. The villages include Gund-Jehangeer and Naidkhai. Earlier this week, six villages including Konan, Gund Qaiser, Gund-Dachina, Hakbara, Madwan and Pethkote were declared red zones in the district. On Tuesday evening District Magistrate Bandipora, Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza issued an order stating that it has become imperative to initiate restrictive measures under section 144 CrPC for immediate prevention of danger to human life, health and safety in view of two positive cases reported from these two villages. According to the directions passed by the District Magistrate, there shall be no movement of any individual for any reason whatsoever permitted into and out of these villages. “However for any medical emergency, individuals can contact on 24×7 Control Room on 01957-225024 or 01957-225323,” order reads. District Magistrate also directed the law enforcing agencies to implement the prohibitory orders in letter and spirit to save human lives. He warned of strict action against the violators of the order under section 188 IPC and other relevant provisions of Epidemic Disease Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act 2005. District Magistrate appealed the general public to cooperate with the administration and ensure strict adherence to the order as the non compliance shall constitute criminal offence and attract strict actions. He said the district administration has put in place a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supplies and deliveries of essential services to the general public of the district. He said essential commodities will be home-delivered to residents as part of this mechanism.
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