Wearing face masks has been made mandatory in Srinagar from May 1 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and any violation in this regard will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act. An order issued by District Development Commissioner Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, says that wearing face masks is compulsory for all residents of Srinagar from May 1. “It shall be compulsory to wear Face Mask/Face-covering at all public places including public transport, offices, shopping or market places et al w.e.f May 1/2020. Medical grade masks which are strictly for hospital use shall, however, be avoided for general use,” it read.
According to the order, all government offices/private establishments/shops/mandis et al shall put in place provisions for hand-wash/sanitizers/ soap et all as per the requirement. “Information promoting hygiene/hand-wash shall be displayed at all such places. This shall be applicable for all managed public places and institutions as well,” the order said.
The DC has also directed the nodal department to make accessible 15 lakh masks that have been produced for the public.
“Assistant Commissioner Development, Srinagar (RRD being Nodal Department) shall make available for public use 15 Lakh masks produced, as per Government order, through Rural Development Department, Social Welfare Department, SHGS and other groups, after approval from a competent authority," further reads the order. The DDC has further directed the nodal department to distribute a pack of 5 masks per family across Srinagar city.
While disclosing that there was no community transmission of coronavirus in Kashmir Valley, the Divisional Commissioner, P Pole, asserted that administration is ready to meet any exigency which arises due to current COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the source of every case that has been detected here. There is not a single case where we are facing any difficulty in tracing the source. Definitely, we are not in the community transmission mode,” Pole said.
He said the high number of cases which are coming from particular areas like Gund Jehangeer, Hajin or Gund Qaiser in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district or from Anantnag was because most of the positive cases were basically from the contacts, who have been identified.