COVID-19 lockdown completed a month on Thursday in Kashmir.
Partial restrictions to contain the Covid were imposed on 27 April and a complete curfew was imposed in Kashmir on 29 April. Last Saturday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration extended the curfew, which was supposed to end on May 23, by another week till May 31 in all 20 districts of the Union Territory amid no letup in the number of fresh coronavirus cases and deaths.
On Thursday a rush of people was witnessed during the morning hours on the roads, outside banks and ATMs in the city and other parts of Kashmir, where police had to intervene and send them back to their homes.
Later, streets again wore a deserted look while shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Kashmir including Srinagar. Standalone shops – selling fruits, vegetables, grocery, milk and other dairy products – have been allowed to function between 0600 hrs and 1000 hrs every day amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, including ensuring social distancing.
All the roads and market places, including Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, remained sealed to prevent movement of the people. Shops and business establishments were closed while all the roads were deserted as traffic and people were off the roads in downtown, civil lines, uptown in Srinagar. But people with emergency or associated with essential services, including doctors and paramedics, were allowed to move on the roads after proper verification at various checkpoints established by police.
Reports of similar restrictions also came from other parts of the valley, including Sopore, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara in north and Shopian, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam in south Kashmir.