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Weekend COVID lockdown brings life to standstill

07:30 AM Jan 16, 2022 IST | SHABIR IBN YUSUF
weekend covid lockdown brings life to standstill
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Srinagar: Even as streets in Kashmir wore a deserted look on Sunday as weekend Corona lockdown entered into the second day, impact of the lockdown was felt across Jammu and Kashmir.

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The weekend curfew came into force on Saturday morning in the summer capital Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. Markets continued to remain closed as shops and business establishments have been allowed to open on a rotational basis.

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Reports said strict restrictions on the movement of people and transport was seen in all districts of Kashmir on Sunday. Since Sunday morning, police vehicles fitted with a public address system were urging people to stay indoors across the length and breadth of Kashmir. They were urging the people to cooperate and follow COVID-19 SOPs.

The decision to impose a weekend curfew was taken on Friday late evening by the J&K Government after the sudden spike in COVID cases in January.

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The administration directed all shops and business establishments in commercial areas like Lal Chowk and other key markets of Kashmir to close their shops. However, essential services were seen operating normally.

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The police parties at roads across Kashmir were seen restricting the movement of essentials. No non-essential vehicles were allowed to ply.

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All the roads and market places, including Lal Chowk, were sealed early on Sunday morning to prevent the movement of people. Senior civil administration and police officers were seen on roads taking stock of restrictions in place. Senior officials of the Divisional Administration said that people cooperated during the curfew.

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Shops and business establishments were closed while all the roads were deserted as traffic and people were off the roads in old and uptown Srinagar in view of weekend curfew. But people with emergency or associated with essential services, including doctors and paramedics were allowed to move on the roads after proper verification.

“The restrictions were being implemented strictly and the people were also cooperating with the administration,” senior officials said, adding that the essential and emergency services were allowed.

“Night curfew shall continue to remain in force from 9 pm-6 am with complete restriction on non-essential movement. There shall be a complete restriction on non-essential movement during weekends in the entire Jammu and Kashmir,” the order reads.

“The District Magistrates of respective districts of Jammu and Kashmir shall adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards non-compliance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), and shall ensure due action against defaulters under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Act, and the India Penal Code,” it added.

As per the order, indoor and outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 25 people followed by gathering of up to 25 vaccinated people in banquet halls or 25 per cent of the authorised capacity.

In the Banquet Halls, people will have to show RT-PCR reports which should not be older than 72 hours. Also, cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, restaurants, clubs, gymnasiums, and swimming will function with only 25 per cent of the authorised capacity.

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