Life was crippled due to five-day fresh lockdown imposed from Tuesday by the district administration following a violation of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) by people, shopkeepers and transports, resulting in a surge in the COVID-19 positive cases in this north Kashmir district.
Meanwhile, the road to the world-famous ski resort of Gulmarg has also been closed at Tangmarg to prevent tourists and others to enter the tourist spot on Tuesday.
However, traders, transporters and daily labourers and shopkeepers questioned reimposition of the restrictions and said that at an average of just 29 positive cases were reported in the district since August 16, when the lockdown was relaxed. Why no such restrictions have been imposed in Srinagar, where at an average of over 150 cases are reported every day since August 16, they asked.
However, the activities related to Agriculture, Horticulture and work on developmental projects shall continue as per the SOPs, an order issued by the District Magistrate (DM) Dr G N Itoo said.
He said accordingly, the enforcement agencies shall allow the movement of the manpower and staff connected with these activities, including vehicles carrying Hot Mix material. The movement of vehicles carrying fruit and vegetables may also be facilitated, the order said.
Rejecting the allegation that fresh lockdown in Baramulla district has been imposed against the centre’s directions, Dr Itoo said on Tuesday that District administration had been given full authority to take a decision keeping in view the situation at the local level.
He said the administration has taken the decision to re-impose lockdown from August 25 to August 29 due to spike in Corona cases.
Dr Itoo said that despite repeated appeals, people were ignoring SOPs and were not wearing masks and keeping social distance during the relaxation in lockdown. Shopkeepers and transporters were fined for violating SOPs due to which cases of COVID-19 witnessed an increase, Dr Itoo said adding fresh five-day lockdown was imposed to break the chain.
We again appeal to people to adopt SOPs so that we could prevent further spread of coronavirus and save our and others lives, he said.
About the allegation that District Administration has allowed Musical Concert on August 29 when people have been confined to their homes, Dr Itoo said no decision has been taken on this concert. We cannot allow any concert under the present circumstances when the threat of coronavirus is there, he said, adding that for allowing any concert or function the administration will take into consideration all aspects.