Srinagar: The District Disaster Management Authority or DDMA Srinagar has directed for complete lockdown in Srinagar till May 31. The direction follows a comprehensive review of the ground situation and in light of guidelines as laid down for COVID-19 containment zones.
District Magistrate and Chairman DDMA Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary issuing orders in this regard said the decision to impose complete lockdown has been taken in view of serious violations seen in various areas during the last one week. He said the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 and the need to prevent waste of effort made so far for containment of the disease has also necessitated the need to enforce strict lockdown for more time.
The decision was taken in a marathon meeting of the DDMA discussing the overall situation surrounding COVID-19 and various aspects thereof in the district. The meeting held a comprehensive review of the situation on ground, status of red zones, active cases, surveillance, influx of travellers from other states and abroad, security measures and other aspects.
SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal who also attended the meeting said an elaborate plan has been prepared to enforce strict lockdown in the district. He highlighted different kinds of security measures put in place to enforce the lockdown. He underlined the importance of cooperation from the public and urged one and all to understand the gravity of the situation and support the authorities to implement the lockdown. He also pointed out the steps taken to facilitate emergencies and essential services in the past.
The meeting also discussed the ongoing COVID-19 testing which has been enhanced and expedited in the district over the last three weeks. Chief Medical Officer Dr Jahangir Bakshir while briefing the meeting about the status of sampling and testing informed that Srinagar has crossed the 10,000 mark.
Giving further details he said enhancement of efforts in the regard include pressing into service mobile sampling units and teams in addition to standard operational means. He informed that this is in addition to mechanism that involves sampling of returnees at various quarantine centres.
Giving details about tightening of restrictions from tomorrow the meeting was informed that operations related to essential services will be allowed as per existing norms whereas permitted outlets will be allowed to operate strictly as per laid-down conditions in such orders.
It has been ordered that all commercial establishments shall remain closed during the lockdown extension period. It was informed that shopping complexes, bazars, haats and roadside parkings will also be strictly prohibited. It has been directed that violations be strictly acted against and violators booked under provisions of the disaster management act.
The RTO Kashmir has been asked to initiate strict action against vehicles found plying in violation of the DDMA orders as issued earlier.
It was informed that private offices will be allowed to operate with less than 33 percent staff strength. This does not apply to areas notified as red zones where no such operations will be allowed.
It was further informed that drug stores and distributors can operate as per the existing guidelines whereas banks have been asked to ensure strict implementation of instructions for social distancing norms or face action.
Service providers like mechanics, electricians, plumbers and others will be allowed to move as individuals and in strict compliance with norms guiding protective equipment.