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Coronavirus In J&K: Restrictions Remain In Force In Kashmir To Check Spread Of Pandemic

The markets across the valley were shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open in the wake of COVID outbreak

Coronavirus

Restrictions on the movement of people in Kashmir to contain the spread of coronavirus were tightened on Friday in view of congregational prayers and the increase in the number of positive cases in the valley, officials said. Security forces have sealed off the main roads in the valley and erected barriers at several places to check the unwanted movement of the people and to enforce the lockdown, the officials said.

They said only persons with valid passes were allowed to move. The markets across the valley were shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, they added. Educational institutions across Kashmir are closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants were shut down more than a week before the nationwide lock down announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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While the Prime Minister announced the country-wide lockdown on the evening of March 24, the union territory administration in the union territory had on March 22 announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till 31 March as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The administration said the essential services including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions.

Coronavirus Cases in J&K

Restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the valley on March 19 to contain the spread of the virus. The measures were taken after the detection of the first positive case of coronavirus in the valley. The total number of positive cases in the union territory has risen to 184 -- out of which 152 were in Kashmir and 32 in Jammu.

The restriction on mobile internet services in Jammu and Kashmir was once again extended by authorities until April 15, despite the soaring demand for high speed 4G mobile data services in the thick of the global Coronavirus outbreak. The order dated April 3 cited 'misuse of data services'  and spread of provocative videos to induce terrorism for the extension of internet speed restrictions.

While four patients have died in Jammu and Kashmir, six have recovered. More than 43,000 people have been kept under surveillance including those who are either in government established quarantine facilities or in home isolation.

(With PTI inputs)

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