Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary on Thursday said the ongoing lockdown in view of Covid-19 pandemic would be intensified across the district from Friday. He said 25 zonal committees set-up by district administration will ensure that people are not inconvenienced.
Addressing a press conference, Choudhary said the movementof people will be regulated through movement passes, with one pass valid onlyfor one person adding that "misuse of passes was rampant."
"The lockdown is being intensified and there would berestrictions even on the inter-district movement," he said. "We have informedall the concerned DCs from across the Valley that officials be stationed attheir respective districts and avoid travelling to and from Srinagar by notleaving the Red Zones," he said.
The DC Srinagar informed that 25 zonal committees, involvingdesignated zonal officers and locals of the particular areas, have been set upacross Srinagar to ensure smooth delivery of various services and essentialsupplies. "We have distributed Srinagar into 25 zones and each zone will have anodal officer and his team coordinating with locals to ensure smooth deliveryof essentials and other services," he said. "We have 1000 teams, with 4000people on job in these zones. We have to ensure that there is no inward oroutward movement from Red Zones. We have also stocked up essentials in thesezones," Choudhary said.
He said the ongoing lockdown was not a " law and order one"but an effort to ensure that people stay back home to fight spread of Covid-19."We urge people not to move out of their homes as we get to see people comingoutdoors during the evenings," he said.
Choudhary said a call canter is also being set up forresponding to public queries and even receiving information on contact tracingor travel history of people. He said 14 Red Zones with positive Covid-19 caseswere declared in Srinagar, out of which four were already sealed byadministration. These four zones include Lal Bazar, Eidgah, Goripora nearQamarwari and Chattabal, he said adding that the administration was in the processof sealing Bemina soon. "Srinagar is a densely populated city and we havealready 14 Red Zones in it which covers the entire city. Red Zones where thereis an alarming situation due to a cluster of positive cases have been sealed,"Choudhary said. He urged the community heads, civil society and religiousleaders to come forward and cooperate with the appointed zonal committees "toensure that people don't venture out of their homes."
Replying to a question about increase in number of positiveCovid-19 cases, Choudhary said there were 648 active contacts of positive casesin Srinagar which he said are high risk cases and remain under strictsurveillance. "This is a critical number and in next three days will indicatewhere we stand medically and administratively. We cannot afford any movementswhich will further aggravate the situation," Choudhary said. He said except oneincident, all the cases among the 648 active contacts of positive cases "wereunder the radar of the administration."
Choudhary said the administration was addressing grievancesof people such as general medical problems and needs for essentials andmedicines. "At present there are 6112 low risk cases and 648 high riskcontacts, so we have put 8000 persons under surveillance till date whom we arechecking regularly. But apart from this we are also ensuring that people whichother chronic medical problems are not inconvenienced," he said. The DCSrinagar said administration was involved in a robust public distributionsystem mechanism adding that there was no shortage of medicines or otheressentials in Srinagar. "There are also efforts to ensure that people fromlower strata of the society do not go unattended so we are working closely with60 NGOs for that as well," Choudhary said.
Addressing the media, SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal urgedpeople not to post fake news and rumours on the social media, saying it createda lot of panic. Mughal said Srinagar was a "high risk zone" in terms ofCovid-19 adding that people should not step outside especially during eveningtime when the there is change of deployment or less number of deployment ofpolice and forces on the roads. "A lot of people keep shuttling betweenSrinagar and rest of districts. I would urge such people especially employees,who travel daily, to stay put at one place which will lower risk of spread ofthe Covid-19," Mughal said. He said movement passes issued henceforth willclearly mention the residence and work place location of a person, which willhelp to keep a check on its misuse.