Srinagar, July 25: Despite recording the highest number of cases across Kashmir, the COVID norms are being observed in breach at public places across the summer capital.
Notwithstanding warnings by experts about the serious repercussions of not following COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), people are still violating COVID19 protocol at public places across Srinagar.
As Srinagar logged the major spike in cases this week, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar a few days back issued an order making the use of face masks compulsory at all public places in the district. “Moreover, all district or sectoral officers shall ensure the usage of face masks by all officers and officials in the offices,” the order had read.
However, people are visiting markets, parks, health centres and government offices without masks. The district is registering minimal visibility of people wearing masks.
Responsible citizens, who are following the SOPs, say that those, who are not following the norms, are putting the lives of others at risk.
“The COVID has spiked again and Srinagar reports the highest cases across Kashmir. In such conditions, we should follow COVID-Appropriate Behavior. It will not only ensure our safety but will also keep others safe. In most places across Srinagar, people are not seen wearing masks despite government orders. There are people with co-morbidities and then there are elderly people, they constitute the most vulnerable lot. We should think about everyone,” said Ashiq Ahmed, a local at Lal Chowk.
Meanwhile, the trader community has also urged people to ensure implementation of SOPs. Traders say that if people take the SOPs lightly it will result in a spike in COVID and can force another lockdown which they cannot afford.
“When the COVID wave intensifies, traders are the first victims. We have already suffered losses due to COVID, we urge people to ensure wearing masks so that the situation doesn’t go out of hand again,” said Zahid Ahmed, a trader from Nowhatta.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Traders Alliance (KTA) has urged the general masses and business community, in particular, to follow CAB in order to prevent the spread of the COVID virus in Kashmir.
“We urge the people across J&K to follow standard protocols prescribed by the Health Department in order to prevent this virus from spreading its wings and causing losses both economically as well as psychologically,” Aijaz Shahdhar, president, KTA said.
The CAB like wearing masks is not followed in public buses and cabs as well. People urged the administration to enforce the wearing of masks in public transport.
Farooq Ahmed, a cab driver said, “We try our best to follow SOPs.”
“But if passengers don’t wear masks, there is no use of drivers wearing them. It is in the interest of everyone that we should follow the protocols. There is an eye on us at every checkpoint and we try to follow but most passengers that I have been ferrying are not wearing masks,” he said.
Officials from the Srinagar district administration said that an intensive drive to enforce CAB been started amid rising COVID cases in Srinagar.
“Intensive drive started today in Srinagar to enforce COVID Appropriate Behaviour in public places,” tweeted the Srinagar administration from its official Twitter handle.
The daily count of COVID-19 cases continued to see a rise as 505 fresh cases were reported in J&K on Thursday. Meanwhile, the active cases also crossed the 2000 mark.