Lockdown to continue in Srinagar till May 31

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The District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Saturday 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 COVID19 containment zones.

District Magistrate and Chairman DDMA Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary while 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 COVID19 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 COVID19 and various aspects 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, 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 and underlined the importance of cooperation from public and urged one and all to understand the gravity of the situation and support the authorities to implement the lockdown.

He pointed out the steps taken to facilitate emergencies and essential services in the past. The meeting also discussed the ongoing COVID19 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 this was 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 parking 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 was 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.